The Politics of Religion in Indonesia: Syncretism, Orthodoxy, and Religious Contention in Java and Bali (Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series)

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The Politics of Religion in Indonesia: Syncretism, Orthodoxy, and Religious Contention in Java and Bali (Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series)

The Politics of Religion in Indonesia Indonesia is a remarkable case study for religious politics. While not a theocrat

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The Politics of Religion in Indonesia

Indonesia is a remarkable case study for religious politics. While not a theocratic country, it is not secular either, with the Indonesian state officially defining what constitutes religion, and every citizen needing to be affiliated to one of them. This book focuses on Java and Bali, and the interesting comparison of two neighbouring societies shaped by two different religions: Islam and Hinduism. The Politics of Religion in Indonesia examines the appropriation by the peoples of Java and Bali of the idea of religion, through a dialogic process of indigenization of universalist religions and universalization of indigenous religions. It looks at the tension that exists between proponents of local world-views and indigenous belief systems, and those who deny those local traditions as qualifying as a religion. This tension plays a leading part in the construction of an Indonesian religious identity recognized by the state. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of Southeast Asia, religious studies and the anthropology and sociology of religion. Michel Picard is a senior researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a member of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (Centre Asie du Sud-Est, CNRS-EHESS) in Paris. He has published extensively in the field of Balinese studies. Rémy Madinier is a senior researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and is based in Jakarta for the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC). He has previously published books on Indonesian Islam.

Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series 1 Land Tenure, Conservation and Development in Southeast Asia Peter Eaton 2 The Politics of Indonesia– Malaysia Relations One kin, two nations Joseph Chinyong Liow 3 Governance and Civil Society in Myanmar Education, health and environment Helen James 4 Regionalism in Post-Suharto Indonesia Edited by Maribeth Erb, Priyambudi Sulistiyanto and Carole Faucher 5 Living with Transition in Laos Market integration in Southeast Asia Jonathan Rigg 6 Christianity, Islam and Nationalism in Indonesia Charles E. Farhadian 7 Violent Conflicts in Indonesia Analysis, representation, resolution Edited by Charles A. Coppel 8 Revolution, Reform and Regionalism in Southeast Asia Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam Ronald Bruce St John 9 The Politics of Tyranny in Singapore and Burma Aristotle and the rhetoric of benevolent despotism Stephen McCarthy

10 Ageing in Singapore Service needs and the state Peggy Teo, Kalyani Mehta, Leng Leng Thang and Angelique Chan 11 Security and Sustainable Development in Myanmar Helen James 12 Expressions of Cambodia The politics of tradition, identity and change Edited by Leakthina Chau-Pech Ollier and Tim Winter 13 Financial Fragility and Instability in Indonesia Yasuyuki Matsumoto 14 The Revival of Tradition in Indonesian Politics The deployment of adat from colonialism to indigenism Edited by Jamie S. Davidson and David Henley 15 Communal Violence and Democratization in Indonesia Small town wars Gerry van Klinken 16 Singapore in the Global System Relationship, structure and change Peter Preston 17 Chinese Big Business in Indonesia The state of the capital Christian Chua

18 Ethno-religious Violence in Indonesia From soil to God Chris Wilson 19 Ethnic Politics in Burma States of conflict Ashley South 20 Democratization in Post-Suharto Indonesia Edited by Marco Bünte and Andreas Ufen 21 Party Politics and Democratization in Indonesia Golkar in the post-Suharto era Dirk Tomsa 22 Community, Environment and Local Governance in Indonesia Locating the commonweal Edited by Carol Warren and John F. McCarthy 23 Rebellion and Reform in Indonesia Jakarta’s security and autonomy polices in Aceh Michelle Ann Miller 24 Hadrami Arabs in Present-day Indonesia An Indonesia-oriented group with an Arab signature Frode F. Jacobsen 25 Vietnam’s Political Process How education shapes political decision making Casey Lucius

26 Muslims in Singapore Piety, politics and policies Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir, Alexius A. Pereira and Bryan S. Turner 27 Timor Leste Politics, history and culture Andrea Katalin Molnar 28 Gender and Transitional Justice The women of East Timor Susan Harris Rimmer 29 Environmental Cooperation in Southeast Asia ASEAN’s regime for trans-boundary haze pollution Paruedee Nguitragool 30 The Theatre and the State in Singapore Terence Chong 31 Ending Forced Labour in Myanmar Engaging a pariah regime Richard Horsey 32 Security, Development and Nation-Building in Timor-Leste A cross-sectoral assessment Edited by Vandra Harris and Andrew Goldsmith 33 The Politics of Religion in Indonesia Syncretism, orthodoxy, and religious contention in Java and Bali Edited by Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier

The Politics of Religion in Indonesia Syncretism, orthodoxy, and religious contention in Java and Bali

Edited by Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier

First published 2011 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2011. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk. © 2011 Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier for selection and editorial matter, individual contributors; their contributions The right of the editors to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data The politics of religion in Indonesia: syncretism, orthodoxy, and religious contention in Java and Bali / edited by Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier. p. cm. – (Routledge contemporary Southeast Asia series; 33) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Religion and politics – Indonesia – Java. 2. Java (Indonesia) – Religion. 3. Religion and politics – Indonesia – Bali (Province) 4. Bali (Indonesia : Province) – Religion. I. Picard, Michel, 1946-II. Madinier, Rémy. BL2120.J3P68 2011 3220 .109598 – dc22 2010047693

ISBN 0-203-81704-4 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN13: 978-0-415-61311-8 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-203-81704-9 (ebk)

Contents

Notes on contributors Preface: The politics of agama in Java and Bali

ix xi

Introduction: ‘agama’, ‘adat’, and Pancasila

1

MICHEL PICARD

PART I

Java 1

The Catholic politics of inclusiveness: a Jesuit epic in Central Java in the early twentieth century and its memory

21

23

RÉMY MADINIER

2

The constrained place of local tradition: the discourse of Indonesian Traditionalist ulama in the 1930s

48

ANDRÉE FEILLARD

3

Where have all the abangan gone? Religionization and the decline of non-standard Islam in contemporary Indonesia

71

ROBERT W. HEFNER

4

The return of Pancasila: secular vs. Islamic norms, another look at the struggle for state dominance in Indonesia

92

FRANÇOIS RAILLON

PART II

Bali 5

From Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu and back: toward a relocalization of the Balinese religion? MICHEL PICARD

115

117

viii 6

Contents A new perspective for ‘Balinese Hinduism’ in the light of the premodern religious discourse: a textual-historical approach

142

ANDREA ACRI

7

The withdrawal of the gods: remarks on ritual trance-possession and its decline in Bali

167

ANNETTE HORNBACHER

8

Spiritualized politics and the trademark of culture: political actors and their use of adat and agama in post-Suharto Bali

192

BRIGITTA HAUSER-SCHÄUBLIN

Bibliography Index

214 232

Contributors

Andrea Acri recently completed his PhD on the development of the S´aiva religion in ancient Java and Bali at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (Leiden University). He currently holds a J. Gonda Postdoctoral Fellowship at the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden. His present research focuses on the comparative study of S´aiva literature in Sanskrit and Old Javanese. Andrée Feillard did her PhD on the political history of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama. Now a researcher with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a member of the Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CNRS-EHESS) in Paris, she is studying developments in post-Suharto Indonesia and especially the emergence of radical Islamic movements. Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Göttingen, Germany. She has carried out extensive fieldwork among the Iatmul and Abelam peoples in Papua New Guinea (between 1972 and 1983) and in Bali (since 1988). Many of her publications focus on the ritual and political organization of space and the relationship between politics and religion in the context of the Balinese state. Robert W. Hefner is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs (CURA) at Boston University, where he served as Associate Director from 1986–2009. He has authored or edited 15 books, the most recent of which is Muslims and Modernity: Society and Culture since 1800 (Cambridge, 2010). Annette Hornbacher is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Her main fields of research are Balinese ritual and its current transformation, intercultural ethics, and ecology. Rémy Madinier is a researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). Based in Jakarta, he is the representative in Indonesia for the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC). He has published numerous articles and two books on Indonesian Islam and is currently working on the history of Muslim-Christian relations in Indonesia.

x

Contributors

Michel Picard is a senior researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a member of the Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CNRS-EHESS) in Paris. An anthropologist by training, he has published extensively in the field of Balinese studies, specifically on tourism, culture, identity and religion. He is currently writing a book on the dialogic construction of a contemporary Balinese identity. François Raillon, a senior researcher with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), studies the political history of Indonesia, and more specifically the construction of ideas and ideologies. He is the former Director of the Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CNRS-EHESS), Paris.

Preface The politics of agama in Java and Bali

The present volume focuses on the appropriation by the peoples of Java and Bali of the category ‘religion’, through a dialogic process of localization of ‘world religions’ and globalization of ‘local religions’. While the issues are framed in terms of the relations between the ‘local’ and the ‘global’, globalization should not be viewed as impacting the local from the outside, as it is always localized. Furthermore, it is invariably mediatized by the state and its religious politics. In Indonesia, the category ‘religion’ has been appropriated in terms of ‘agama’. A Sanskrit loanword, agama combines a Christian view of what counts as a world religion with an Islamic understanding of what defines a proper religion – a prophet, a holy book, and a belief in the One and Only God. Accordingly, Indonesian religious politics can be labelled – to borrow Sven Cederroth’s felicitous expression (Cederroth 1996) – ‘agamaization’, or more generally, ‘religionization’, implying that adherents of indigenous religions are ‘not yet religious’ (belum beragama) and therefore are expected to be ‘religionized’ (agamaized). In this respect, our working hypothesis is that, in Java as much as in Bali, there exists an ongoing and shifting tension between proponents of local world-views and customary ritual practices, who consider them as both selfsufficient and deserving the label agama, and advocates of a translocal religion of foreign origin, having a claim to universalism, who commonly deny those local traditions the qualification of agama. Such a tension plays a leading part in the construction of an Indonesian religious identity recognized by the state. In Part I, the chapters on Java explore the relations between Javanism, a universalist religion such as Christianity or Islam, and the Indonesian state. Rémy Madinier and Andrée Feillard deal with the issue of the Javanization of Christianity and Islam respectively. Robert Hefner and François Raillon pursue this matter by questioning the enduring persistence of Javanism vis-à-vis the political and religious resurgence of Islam. Whereas Hefner documents the decline of the abangan tradition, Raillon stresses the remarkable comeback of Pancasila in the Reformasi era.

xii

Preface

In Chapter 1, Rémy Madinier recounts the strategy designed in the late nineteenth century by the Jesuit missionary Franciscus van Lith to turn Catholicism into a Javanese religion. Drawing a lesson from the failure of European Protestant missionaries to impose Christianity on the Javanese by severing them from their spiritual roots, van Lith chose to include Catholicism in a syncretic process that his reformed predecessors and competitors had unsuccessfully sought to obliterate. Furthermore, by avoiding compromising the religious authority of Christianity with the colonial political dominance which he thought would not last, van Lith’s educational and political action contributed to the recognition of a religion of colonial origin in independent Indonesia. His missionary work was carried on by a generation of Javanese whose conversion to Catholicism permitted social and political emancipation. By supporting the struggle for independence, these Christian elites were entitled to play a crucial role in the confrontation between the Islamic and the nationalist groups that resulted in the Pancasila ideology. While Rémy Madinier addresses the Javanization of Christianity, in Chapter 2, Andrée Feillard assesses the accommodation of Islam to Javanism. In this respect, it is commonly held that traditionalist ulama are more accommodative than the reformists to local traditions. Her chapter sheds new light on this question by examining the traditionalist ulama’s stance on Javanese pre-Islamic traditions in the 1930s, in reports in one of Nahdlatul Ulama’s official publications, Berita Nahdlatoel Oelama (BNO). It appears that Nahdlatul Ulama has a very exclusive definition of religion: only the ‘religions of the Book’, based on divine revelation, qualify as agama. This strict definition of agama, combined with the idea of the ‘ripeness’ of Islamic teachings that are never to change, makes Islam superior to all religions. Moreover, the BNO gives little thought to Javanese traditions – whether adat, Javanism, spirits cults, or pre-Islamic rituals. However, it shows a fierce intransigence against ‘customary law’ (hukum adat), which the Dutch colonial authorities were favouring to the detriment of Islamic law, arousing the ire of the ulama. Thus, from the analysis of the BNO, the Nahdlatul Ulama appears as an instrument of Islamization rather than as a proponent of accommodation to local culture. In Chapter 3, Robert Hefner pursues this topic further by investigating the decline of Javanism, with the near disappearance of the abangan, and assesses its implications for Indonesian religious politics. Where bits and pieces of syncretic traditions of public Islam have survived, they have done so only on the condition that they be redefined as ‘custom’ (adat) or ‘culture’ (budaya). These native varieties of Islam have been displaced by an Islam organized in a more standardized and deterritorialized form as ‘religion’ (agama). In this respect, the Islamization of non-standard Islam is part and parcel of a broader process of ‘religionization’, that is, the reconstruction of localized spiritual traditions with reference to religious ideals and practices seen as normative, universal, and incumbent on all believers. Contrary to what might be expected, though, the shift from abanganism to normative Islam has not been translated into support for Islamist political programmes.

Preface xiii Nor has it homogenized Indonesian Muslim religious culture, which remains surprisingly pluralistic. Whereas Robert Hefner documents the decline of the abangan tradition, in Chapter 4, François Raillon stresses the remarkable comeback of Pancasila in the Reformasi era. As a reaction to advances made by pro-sharia activists, a coalition of civil society supporters, bearers of Javanese culture, and liberalminded politicians, joined forces to restore the ideological power of Pancasila, which for a while had been rejected because of its instrumentalization by Suharto. Previously seen as a domineering system blending diversity in a Javanese mould, Javanese syncretism is tentatively refashioned as an inclusive system that fosters pluralism without trying to melt its components. This re-engineering of Javanese culture enables the dressing-up of Pancasila with the latest version of Javanism: from an authoritarian, Suharto-like, centralistic and feudal formula to a pluralist one. Yet, despite a consensus on the wording of Pancasila, there is still no common understanding of how it should be interpreted. While the issues addressed by the chapters on Java revolve around the relationship between Javanism and Pancasila, on the one hand, Islam and Christianity, on the other, in Part II, the chapters on Bali weave in various fashions two recurring questions. First, what are the respective spheres of adat and agama? And, second, how is Balinese religion related to Hinduism? Michel Picard and Andrea Acri assess the degree of continuity or discontinuity between Balinese religious traditions and the official Agama Hindu. Although they proceed from different perspectives and defend differing opinions, their conclusions are not as irreconcilable as might appear at first blush. Annette Hornbacher documents one specific outcome of the transformation of local traditions into a universalist religious doctrine, that is, the disappearance of trance-possession from temple rituals. As for Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin, she investigates the post-Suharto blurring of boundaries between adat and agama, and their increasing amalgamation with politics. Drawing on the debates among Balinese regarding their religious identity, in Chapter 5, Michel Picard addresses the contemporary Hinduization of the Balinese religion, while retracing the shifts in the conflicts opposing the Balinese who aspire to reform their religion by conforming it to what they think ‘Hinduism’ (Agama Hindu) is about, to those who want to retain the specificity of their own religious traditions (Agama Hindu Bali). The latter are accused by their opponents of promoting an exclusivist religion, confined by the parochialism of Balinese culture, instead of truly embracing Agama Hindu as a universal religion. Yet, if it is indeed a way to legitimize traditional Balinese religious practices, the return to Agama Hindu Bali is much more than a withdrawal into Balinese parochialism on the part of diehard reactionaries. Its promoters are actually revoking the process of universalization of the Balinese religion, by relocalizing it. In this respect, the resurgence of Agama Hindu Bali marks a return to the original acceptation of agama, untainted by its Islamic and Christian accretions, when ‘religion’ (agama) had not yet been separated from ‘tradition’ (adat).

xiv Preface In contrast to the majority of the anthropological studies that stress the discontinuity between Balinese religious traditions and the official Agama Hindu, construed as a shift from ritual to text, from orthopraxy to orthodoxy, Andrea Acri maintains in Chapter 6 that the pre-modern Balinese religious discourse was already characterized by a text-based theological perspective of Indic derivation. Drawing upon the Old Javano-Balinese Tutur literature, regarded as the scriptural basis of Shaivism on the island, he attempts to show that some of the distinctive features of modern Balinese religious discourse can be traced back to the pre-modern past. From this perspective, the shift from polytheism or ancestor cults to the worship of an abstract, unique almighty God, originating from the efforts of the Balinese reformers, is not attributable solely to the influence of Christianity, Islam and Neo-Hinduism. Acri proposes to regard the resulting official Agama Hindu as a development along ‘Neo-Hinduized’ lines of the localized text-focused elite tradition derived from Indic Brahmanical Shaivism, which was already opposed to the daily embedded worship of the commoners. In Chapter 7, Annette Hornbacher probes into the current disappearance of trance-possession from the public temple rituals in Bali. She argues that possession does not just disappear as a side-effect of global modernization and rationalization but has been actively marginalized and even suppressed by a new class of religious authorities. In Bali, possession is a performative self-representation of ambivalent divine beings, who enter a human body in order to communicate directly with the worshipping community. Since it makes the course of rituals unpredictable, possession opens the fixed liturgical order of static orthopraxy to creative innovation via flexible interpretation and reflexivity. The decline of ritual possession is to be understood in the context of the challenge to the traditional hierarchy by intellectual commoners advocating the transformation of local traditions (adat) into a universalist religious doctrine (agama), that can be taught and learned by everybody. As a result, both secret scriptures and ritual possession are being sidelined within the official discourse of Balinese religion that aims at the normalization of Indonesian Hinduism, because both threaten the authority of new intellectual elites, by enabling an interactive representation of religious knowledge. Finally, in Chapter 8, Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin investigates how the postSuharto conflation of adat and agama, and their increasing amalgamation with ‘politics’ (dinas) have led in Bali to what she calls ‘spiritualized politics’: while provincial and national leaders make conspicuous use of temples and rituals for their own political goals, influential temple organizations have developed strategies that aim to attract leading politicians. In Bali, the Reformasi has thus led to a re-emphasis of adat and agama, and a deemphasis of dinas. People’s perspective has turned towards their own region and locality and less to structures, processes and problems that bind them to Indonesia as an encompassing political and social body. And even though the national government claims agama as its own domain, the way the laws on

Preface xv regional autonomy are interpreted and implemented in Bali shows that the local understanding of adat includes religion as well. As a result, the socio-political processes that currently take place in Bali are characterized by the blurring of boundaries between dinas, adat and agama, on the one hand, and the establishment of new boundaries, along the lines of ethnicity and religion, on the other.

Map 1 Map of Indonesia (courtesy Ade Pristie Wayho, École française d’Extrême-Orient, Jakarta)

Introduction ‘Agama’, ‘adat’, and Pancasila Michel Picard

In the past few decades, consistent criticism has been levelled against the prevalent assumption of the religious studies discourse – the universality of religion as a distinct domain of human societies. Instead of being a universal and sui generis phenomenon, ‘religion’ emerged as a specifically Eurocentric category, and a contentious one at that.1 Indeed, ‘religion’ is neither a descriptive nor an analytical term but a prescriptive and normative one. Originating in the Roman notion of religio, it was appropriated by early Christian theologians, who radically shifted its sense and reference by uprooting it from its ‘pagan’ framework (Sachot 2007). To the Romans, religio was what traditio is all about, a set of ancestral practices developed by a people and transmitted over generations.2 As there are different peoples, so are there different traditions. As a set of practices, the predicates ‘true’ and ‘false’ are not applicable to a tradition. By claiming to be the true religio, Christianity counterposed its doctrines to the prevalent practices, rejected as a set of false beliefs. This distinction between true and false religions marks a semantic shift characterized by a scriptural turn, a substitution of text for ritual, of orthodoxy (allegiance to a normative doctrine) for orthopraxy (respect for ancestral rites) (Assmann 2003). Generalized in a secular garb by post-Reformation and post-Enlightenment thinkers, the Christian conception of ‘religion’ became a scholarly construct with the development of the so-called ‘science of religion’ (Religionswissenschaft) (Sharpe 1986). What is at issue, as a result, is the fact that the category ‘religion’ is too imbued with Christian theological concepts and values, as well as with Western modernity, to have a cross-cultural or a transhistorical relevance. Consequently, ‘religion’ – just like other folk categories such as din, mana, tao, dharma, bhakti or agama – should not be taken for a conceptual tool, but ought to be the object of analysis (Saler 1993). Whereas ‘religion’ is a category to its own participants in the Western context, in other contexts, it is a category constructed by the observer from a variety of practices which the actors do not necessarily combine into a coherent institution and for which they usually do not possess a corresponding word (Cohn 1969). However, the fact that ‘religion’ is ‘a category imposed from the outside on some aspect of native culture’ (Smith 1998: 269) does not

2

Michel Picard

imply that it is ‘solely the creation of the scholar’s study’ (Smith 1982: xi), since members of other cultures have appropriated the word ‘religion’ – or its local equivalent(s) – to define some of their practices as differentiated from others. The colonial encounter with other peoples gave rise to the extension of the category ‘religion’ from a very specific meaning located in Christian revealed Truth to a generic concept with universal applicability (Fitzgerald 2007). For centuries, Europeans had a conventional ordering for categorizing the peoples of the world. They recognized ‘Christians’, ‘Jews’, ‘Mohammedans’, and ‘heathens’, rather than different religions. This convention declined during the nineteenth century, to be replaced by a list of ‘world religions’ that could be compared with one another as particular instances of the universal genus ‘religion’ (Masuzawa 2005). The common assumption of Western scholars was that these world religions must have essential similarities to Christianity in terms of which they were assessed: they were expected to have formal structures of fixed doctrines, resting on canonical authority, be enforced by a priestly hierarchy, and sustained by congregational worship. In that sense, world religions were considered ‘advanced’ religions, as opposed to more localized religions, regarded as ‘primitive’ or ‘animist’. The spread of world religions in the nineteenth century resulted in the formalizing of the rites and tenets of Asian traditions into something resembling the belief systems and institutional structures of Abrahamic religions, bringing forth such entities as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, and so on. Reformers emphasized the rational and doctrinal elements in their religious inheritance, condemning blind superstition, mindless priestcraft, and backward customs. By substituting orthodoxy for orthopraxy, these reform movements attempted to discriminate between true ‘religion’ and mere ‘tradition’. As they expanded their global reach, these normative forms of belief demarcated their boundaries and consolidated their corporate identity, while endeavouring to control the variegated rituals and observances which they encountered. Such a process of ‘religionization’ resulted in a complex evolution, marked by rationalization – the formulation of a canonical corpus, its institutionalization and its effective socialization (Hefner 1993) – as well as by secularization – desacralization of the immanent concrete in favour of an abstract and transcendent divine (Hefner 1998) – along with scripturalization and standardized practices. Thus, if it is indeed true that ‘religion’ is not a native category, one has to acknowledge that it has become the case on account of the colonial encounter and the broader Western influence across the world, which induced the native interlocutors of colonial administrators, Orientalists and missionaries to invent for themselves the idea that they too had a proper ‘religion’. The result being that, nowadays, religion scholars study peoples who consider themselves to ‘have a religion’. What remains then to be studied is the dialogic process by which Western representations of non-Christian ‘religions’ are being negotiated, adopted or opposed, by members of non-Western cultures.

Introduction

3

As a category, ‘religion’ is a classificatory device, which has to do with the construction and maintenance of boundaries. Accordingly, one should pay attention to the practical work that the use of ‘religion’ as a taxonomy accomplishes, that is, both what it includes and what it excludes (Asad 2001). Specifically, one has to be aware that what counts as ‘religion’ for the observer might not correspond to what local actors themselves consider to pertain to their ‘religion’. Furthermore, these local actors do not necessarily concur regarding what their ‘religion’ is about, as ‘religion’ is a contested matter, having to do with institutionalized values and their relation to power and its legitimation. Consequently, one should elucidate what is identified and legitimized as ‘religion’, by whom, for what purpose, in which circumstances and under which political conditions. In this perspective, the relevant question is no longer ‘What is religion?’ but ‘What gets to count as religion and why?’ (McCutcheon 2004). In Indonesia, the category ‘religion’ has been appropriated in terms of ‘agama’. Many, if not most, Indonesianists appear to take for granted that agama is but a word-for-word translation of ‘religion’. However, things are not so straightforward, as agama covers a much narrower semantic field than ‘religion’ does, for which Indonesians had to borrow the Dutch loanword religi. In truth, agama is the peculiar combination in Sanskrit guise of a Christian view of what counts as a world religion with an Islamic understanding of what defines a proper religion: divine revelation recorded by a prophet in a holy book, a system of law for the community of believers, congregational worship, and a belief in the One and Only God.3 In this respect, agama is a point of contention between different sets of actors. Moreover, far from being autonomous, agama is an integral part of a semantic field which it composes along with the categories adat (‘tradition’), budaya (‘culture’), hukum (‘law’), and various signifiers involving political authority.

Agama, from India to Indonesia In his study of Sanskrit in Indonesia, Jan Gonda has this to say about the appropriation of agama4 in the Archipelago: In Sanskrit agama, apart from other use, designates ‘a traditional precept, doctrine, body of precepts, collection of such doctrines’; in short, ‘anything handed down as fixed by tradition’; it is, moreover, the name of a class of works inculcating the so-called tantric worship of Shiva and Shakti. In Old Javanese it could apply to a body of customary law or a Dharma-book, and to religious or moral traditions, and the words sang hyang ‘the divine, holy’ often preceding it emphasize its superhuman character. The term is, moreover, used to signify the religious knowledge of a brahman … , and also that of a high Buddhist functionary. Islam, in the spread of which many compatriots of Shivaists and Buddhists who had led the way into the Archipelago took an important part, adopted

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Michel Picard the term, and so did, in the course of time, Christianity. Nowadays agama … is in Javanese, Malay etc. ‘religion’. (1973: 499–500)

Surprisingly few authors appear to have wondered how a Sanskrit loanword so laden with Indic references could have come to designate an Islamic conception of what ‘religion’ is about. One of them is Jane Atkinson (1987: 174–8), who has attempted to trace the historical development of the term agama into what she called the ‘Indonesian civil religion’. However, she did not specify why it is precisely the word agama that came to stand for ‘religion’ in Indonesia. That fact was attributed by Judith Becker to the paramount importance in medieval Java and Bali of the Shaivagama, the sacred scriptures of the Shaiva-Siddhanta order in South India (Becker 2004: 16; see also Brunner nd).5 Yet, this still leaves many questions unanswered, since in Shaiva-Siddhanta agama does not signify ‘religion’, a notion which in any case was actually unknown to the Indian world before the nineteenth century. We are on firmer ground if we turn to the ‘legal’ acceptation taken on by the word agama in Old Javanese. On that subject, we can refer to Javanese and Balinese textual traditions bearing the generic title Agama, a term ‘used to refer to a range of texts dealing with moral, religious and legal sanctions and practices’ (Creese 2009: 242, note 2; see also Hoadley and Hooker 1981, 1986). These texts are principally drawn from the Sanskrit Manava Dharmashastra, the ‘Laws of Manu’, interpreted and adapted to suit indigenous needs. The basic premise of Hindu law is in the idea of dharma, which pertains both to the natural order of the cosmos and to the duties and privileges bearing on the individual according to his status (varna) and stage of life (ashrama) – the varnashramadharma. This is also how the Bengali historian Himansu Bhusan Sarkar interpreted the word agama in his study of Indian Influences on the Literature of Java and Bali, published by the Greater India Society (Sarkar 1934). His chapter on ‘The Agama or Dharmashastras of Indonesia’ is divided into two headings, the Niti literature, which expounds ethics and religious ideals, and jurisprudence. He deemed significant that the Indian term Agama, which refers to a Shastra handed down by the gods, has been retained in the Javanese and Balinese law codes, which are predicated on the fiction of a divinely ordained set of rules, with Shiva featuring prominently as the propounder of their authority. This is precisely the taxonomy that had been adopted by Balinese literati when the Dutch colonial government opened in 1928 a foundation dedicated to the collection and study of the Balinese manuscripts – the Kirtya Liefrinckvan der Tuuk. In the catalogue of the Kirtya library, Agama refers to legal and political literature, corresponding to the Indian Dharmashastra and Nitishastra (Kadjeng 1929). The most important of these texts (Adi-agama, Agama, Purwa Agama, and Kutara Agama) were translated into Balinese and

Introduction

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Malay at the behest of the colonial government, in order to be used as legal foundation by the courts of justice established in each of the former Balinese kingdoms. Thus, we see that in Bali the word agama has retained a sense equivalent to that of dharma until well into the twentieth century. In India itself, a shift in the meaning of the word dharma had taken place among the educated Bengali elites early in the nineteenth century, as a consequence of the missionary activities and the European presence. According to Wilhelm Halbfass: The self-definition of Hinduism as a ‘religion’, as a dharma which confronts and asserts itself against the dharma of the Christians, and more generally the use of dharma as an analogue or answer to ‘religion’, is largely due to the fact that the missionaries in Bengal laid claim to the concept and term dharma, using it to proclaim Christianity as the ‘true dharma’ (satyadharma). In contrast, the use of the Islamic concept of religion din as an Arabic-Persian analogue to dharma had no comparable consequences. (1988: 340) In these trying circumstances, the Hindu dharma became one religion among others, and it could thereafter be compared and opposed to the Muslim dharma or the Christian dharma. We can surmise that, in the manner of what occurred to the notion of dharma in India, the ‘legal’ and ‘religious’ components of agama became dissociated in Indonesia when, through its adoption by Islam and later on by Christianity, agama took on the meaning of ‘religion’. By appropriating this term, proponents of both these faiths had added new acceptations to it, namely a belief in one almighty God and the requirement of conversion to a foreign doctrine whose teachings are contained in a holy book. Subsequently, a sharp distinction was drawn between ‘heathens’ and ‘true believers’. During the later period of Dutch colonial rule, agama became associated further with an ideal of social progress, while ‘pagan’ beliefs were scorned as superstitions and viewed as a cause for shame. By taking on the meaning of ‘religion’, agama was not only dissociated from ‘law’ but also from ‘tradition’, which was one of its original senses in Sanskrit. In contemporary Indonesia, the notion of ‘tradition’ is glossed as adat, an Arabic loanword commonly translated as ‘custom’. Yet such rendering does not do justice to the importance of adat for Indonesian traditional societies, which is aptly conveyed by Hans Schärer regarding the Ngaju in Borneo: ‘[Adat] certainly means more than simply usage, custom, habit … the notion has a double meaning. Firstly, that of divine cosmic order and harmony, and secondly, that of life and actions in agreement with this order’ (Schärer 1963: 74). In this respect, the meaning of adat comes close to that of dharma, being both a description of the world and a norm on which to base social life.

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This scope, simultaneously cosmic and social, of adat was fragmented by being subjected to a series of reductions. First of all by Islam, followed in this respect by Christianity, which endeavoured to curtail the religious dimension of adat by confining its significance to the customs and traditions of a people (adat kebiasaan). Specifically, the word adat entered the language of Islamized populations in the Indonesian Archipelago to refer to indigenous ‘customary law’ as opposed to Islamic ‘religious law’ (hukum, sharia). Subsequently, Dutch administrators codified the indigenous customary law (adatrecht) of the various peoples on whom they had imposed their colonial empire. This is how adat and agama have come to mutually define each other in contemporary Indonesia, each category being continually redefined through the process of their interaction.6 Whereas formerly the semantic field of agama overlapped with what Indonesians have come to label adat, today ‘religion’ tends to be countered to ‘tradition’ – particularly so in those societies which have been Islamized or Christianized.7 The historical emergence of the category agama and its interpretation as ‘religion’ thus amounts to its differentiation from the category adat. This is to say that it is only by looking at these categories in relation, rather than assuming their autonomy, that their respective fields can be adequately circumscribed and analysed. Now, it has often been remarked that Indonesian traditional societies had no word that could be translated as ‘religion’. It is then usually claimed that traditional beliefs and practices were subsumed under the word adat or one of its cognates. However, adat should not be seen as a pristine tradition originating with a distant and indigenous past, as the fact that its very name is an Arabic loanword indicates. Moreover, it is this same term which is used elsewhere in the Muslim world to refer to customs that have no explicit Islamic legitimation (Bruinessen 1999: 167). That being so, and since they mutually define each other, neither adat nor agama have had constant and independent meanings, as these categories appear to have evolved jointly. In Indonesian traditional societies, there is no separation between religion and ethnicity, no differentiation between a religious and a secular sphere of experience. No clear-cut distinction is made between the natural and the social worlds, the human and the non-human, the transcendental and the immanent. The main purpose of the rites is to maintain the proper connections between people, the natural world, and the world of the spirits and ancestors, on which equilibrium the well-being of community and cosmos depends. Unlike the religions based on revelation, that are exclusivist, the so-called indigenous religions are not singled out as ‘religions’, as a bounded field that could be demarcated from other aspects of life in society. Julia Howell renders the situation in a most appropriate fashion: Irrespective of similarities and differences in cosmological constructs, indigenous Indonesian religious traditions display great uniformity in their perceived relationship to social life as a whole. The indigenous traditions are community religions, in the sense that participation in them

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comes as a consequence of membership in a local community, usually acquired at birth. Further, participation in the indigenous cults is seen by the communities practicing them as part of the members’ obligations within the system of local customary law. It could equally well be said that customary law is established upon the foundation of indigenous cosmology and exists to maintain the proper order of the universe. (1982: 505) This is to say that, in such indigenous traditions, there is no clear-cut demarcation between what would eventually be denoted as adat and agama respectively. This state of affairs would be challenged by three foreign religious traditions: Hindu-Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian.

Indianization Hinduism and Buddhism8 came in the wake of the expanding long-distance trade that linked the Indonesian Archipelago to India and China starting in the first centuries BC. The manner in which Indian religious traditions happened to inform the life of the peoples of Java and Bali is still being debated by specialists. There have been several prevalent theories of the so-called ‘Indianization’ of Southeast Asia, depending on which method of transmission (colonization, trade, charisma) or which mediators (kshatriya, vaishya, brahmana) were thought to play the leading role (Lukas 2003: 1–6). In view of our increasing knowledge of the material culture and maritime trade relations between the societies on both sides of the Bay of Bengal during the first millennium CE, we now realize that the Indianization of Southeast Asia was concurrent with, and no different from, the Indianization of South Asia itself (Heesterman 1989; Kulke 1990). This is exemplified by the diffusion of Sanskrit, which emerged as a public language after the beginning of the common era almost simultaneously and in very similar ways in the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia, creating a transcultural symbolic network which Sheldon Pollock (1996) has named the ‘Sanskrit cosmopolis’. What was transmitted, imitated and borrowed throughout the Sanskrit cosmopolis was a scriptural tradition, which carried over a new world-view wherein authority and its legitimation were no longer based on the local community and its ancestral observances. However, Sanskrit terms and concepts had to be appropriated in order to make sense locally. In this process, as Craig Reynolds reminds us: [Sanskrit loanwords] did not just rename existing categories, although they were often admitted into local languages precisely because they did this and thus elevated the status of existing categories. They also wedged themselves into the structure of local languages and created new spaces, new relationships. (1995: 433)

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This is precisely what occurred with the ‘localization’ (Wolters 1999: 55) in the Indonesian Archipelago of the word agama, which, as we have seen, refers to revealed scriptural knowledge. When we look at the Indianization of Java and Bali as a transcultural movement of ideas conveyed by Sanskrit texts rather than as a movement of people, the appropriation of Indic traditions by the Javanese and the Balinese comes across as a voluntary project, that is, the selective adoption by local elites of a new world-view that involved a redefinition of the relationship of the social sphere to the cosmos (Lansing 1983). These Indic traditions blended with local usages to such a degree that it is difficult to determine whether certain features are Indonesian under Indian garb or Indian transformed by Indonesian vernacularization.9

Islamization It has long been customary in the academic milieu to view Islam in Java as a superficial veneer, underneath which endured a syncretic indigenous and Hindu-Buddhist heritage. This prejudice has been denounced from different quarters,10 and a more balanced vision emerged recently with the historiographic work of Merle Ricklefs. He construes the Islamization of Java as an alternance of conflict and accommodation between competing identities, Javanese and Islamic, leading to a ‘mystic synthesis’, which by the turn of the nineteenth century combined a commitment to Islamic identity, observation of the five pillars of the faith, and acceptance of local spiritual powers, all within the context of Sufism (Ricklefs 2006). The fact that the kind of Islam brought to Java was predominantly of Sufi persuasion, conveyed by Indian traders strongly imbued with Hinduism, presumably eased the transition from mystical Hindu-Buddhism to mystical Islam. Accordingly, one might surmise that, at first, the adoption of Islam might not have precipitated any significant disruption in the life and worldview of the Javanese, for whom the new faith may have been regarded as a means of tapping yet another source of mystical power (Bruinessen 1999: 162). Unlike Indic ideas, however, Islam provided an exclusive path to salvation which required the imposition of religious boundaries and the rejection of former ways, amounting to a change of ethnic status. In the words of Anthony Reid, ‘the new scriptural ideas came to be seen as “religion” (agama) and the old pattern as “custom” (adat)’ (1993: 164). In this perspective, the history of the Islamization of Java – which was simultaneously the Javanization of Islam – should be understood as the outcome of a tension between the universalist vocation of Islam and the civilizing claims of ‘Javanism’ (kejawen), manifested in rites, mystical speculations, ethical norms, aesthetic standards, and a strict socio-linguistic etiquette.11 Such a tension expressed itself through the socio-cultural polarity between two religious traditions: on the one hand, the Javanese who attempted to enforce a strict conformity to the ritual and legal prescriptions of Islam, and on the

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other, those for whom Islam ought to merge into the Javanese civilization and to comply with its values. In the course of the nineteenth century, the competing ambitions of Dutch colonialism and Islamic revivalism would challenge the Javanese mystic synthesis (Ricklefs 2007). From then on, one observes a widening cleavage between syncretist and anti-syncretist versions of Islam, manifested in a conflict between on the one hand, the returned pilgrims from Mecca (haji), eager to foster a more zealous sense of an Islamic identity among the Javanese, and on the other hand, established religious teachers (kiai) and masters of Sufi orders (tarekat), whose teachings conveyed an eclectic or esoteric view of Islam. As a reaction to reformist pressures, there emerged, aside from the community of firm believers – the putihan (literally, ‘the white ones’) or santri (graduates from the Islamic boarding schools, the pesantren) – a category of Javanese who were accused by the latter of not being proper Muslims, the abangan (literally, ‘the red ones’). According to Ricklefs (2007), these nominal Muslims, who formed the majority of Javanese, began to distance themselves from their Islamic identity and were abandoning the observation of the five pillars, focusing instead on the propitiation of local spiritual powers. As for the Javanese bureaucratic elite, the priyayi, faced with the decline of their status and authority and confronted with the hostility of Islamic teachers, they were being detached from their own people as they became ever more incorporated into the colonial bureaucracy. Some of them started questioning their Islamic identity and embraced European modernity, all the while looking back towards their Hindu-Buddhist glorious heritage. While Javanese society was becoming polarized, the colonial authorities were seeking to impede the propagation of Islam in the Archipelago. Despite their vigilance, though, Islam was to play a major role in the development of Indonesian nationalism. Already in the nineteenth century, Islam had served as a rallying banner to anticolonial revolts, providing a common bond among natives, based on their belonging to the community of true believers (umat), which opposed them to their Christian overlords. With the rise of the nationalist movement in the twentieth century, the polarization of Javanese society into abangan and putihan intensified and became politicized. As for Bali, it has been commonly depicted since the nineteenth century as an island of Hinduism in a sea of Islam, as if Balinese identity had been formed through opposition to Islam. In truth, the existence of Islam is almost as old in Bali as it is in Java, having followed the trade route along the north coast of the island that connected Java to the eastern Spice Islands. From the sixteenth century onwards, various Muslim communities settled on the island’s coastal fringe. With the incorporation of Bali into the Dutch East Indies, at the turn of the twentieth century, came the first Muslim agents of the colonial administration, which transformed both the geography and the demography of Islam on the island. However, until the end of the colonial period, the relations between Bali and Islam had more to do with politics than with religion. 12

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Christianization The establishment of Christianity in the Archipelago began in the sixteenth century with the Catholic evangelization of the Spice Islands by Portuguese missionaries. When the Dutch supplanted the Portuguese in the region in the seventeenth century, Catholics were forcibly converted to Protestantism and all Catholic missions were banned until the turn of the nineteenth century. Yet, unlike the missionizing Portuguese, on the whole, the Governors-General of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) were not concerned with propagating their religious persuasion among the native populations of the Archipelago. In the nineteenth century, some Dutch colonial administrators nurtured optimistic expectations of eliminating the pernicious influence of Islam by Christianizing the Indonesians. By and large though, the Dutch government looked upon the presence of missions in the Indies with ambivalence. On the one hand, European mission societies were permitted to proselytize nonMuslim populations, as a means to curb the advance of Islamization. On the other hand, Christian proselytization remained forbidden in Muslim areas, for fear of arousing anticolonial reactions. Java was eventually opened to Christian missions in the mid-nineteenth century, and even then under watchful administrative eyes (Hefner 1993). The progress of Christianization was a protracted and uneven affair. Whereas Dutch mission societies won very few converts, Indo-European and Javanese proselytizers in the rural areas were more successful as, unlike their Dutch counterparts, they did not expect the new converts to give up their Javaneseness. For quite some time, Christianity was perceived and received as a new form of esoteric knowledge (ngelmu). Until the second half of the nineteenth century, neither Christian nor Muslim Javanese had yet developed an orthodoxy with which to assess each other’s religion, as both Christianity and Islam were intermingled with Javanism. Later on, Javanese Christianity would become closer to Dutch Christianity, while Javanese Islam was becoming closer to Middle Eastern Islam. Both religions were moving toward a normative orthodoxy, thereby defining exclusive boundaries around each community of true believers. With the increasing influence of religious orthodoxy among the believers, relations between Muslim and Christian Javanese became more apologetic and confrontational. Although a latecomer on the scene, the Catholic Church made decisive headway, owing to its more considerate approach to Javanese sensitivities. Be that as it may, at the end of the colonial period, Christian converts formed only a tiny minority of the Javanese population, a minority, however, which on the whole was better educated for having benefited from mission schooling. Following an aborted attempt at Christianization in the late nineteenth century, Bali remained closed to Christianity until the 1930s, when the evangelizing activities of a Protestant mission among the Balinese sparked a heated controversy. The dispute was initiated by F.D.K. Bosch, head of the Archeology Department of Batavia, and pursued by the language official

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Roelof Goris (1933), who opposed the missions on the ground that in Bali religion and social order form an inseparable whole. Therefore, by deliberately assaulting the religion of the Balinese, missionary work would bring about the collapse of their entire culture. These arguments were disputed by the Protestant missionary Hendrik Kraemer (1933), who rejected the identification of religion with culture. He asserted that Balinese religion demonstrated only a thin veneer of Hinduism and was permeated by magic and superstitions common to other ‘animist’ traditions in the Archipelago. Furthermore, the island was being subjected to increasing foreign influence, such as government, education and tourism, to the extent that Balinese religion – far from experiencing a revival from within, as the Orientalists were prone to claim – was doomed to disappear under the assaults of modern secularization. In the end, the Orientalists won the day and the Governor-General forbade missionary work in Bali. But this did not prevent the missions, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, from progressively setting foot on the island and converting a few thousand Balinese.

The post-1945 independence of Indonesia and Pancasila Soon after the Dutch surrender, in March 1942, the Japanese occupation authorities endeavoured to win over the Indonesian Muslim community in a propaganda campaign aimed at arousing anti-Western sentiments on the basis of defence of Islam (Benda 1958). With this aim in mind, they established an Office for Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama), and a year later they regrouped all existing Muslim organizations in a Consultative Congress of Indonesian Muslims (Masyumi). By the time the capitulation of Japan was near at hand, the Masyumi’s leaders, comforted by a new sense of their importance, were convinced that Islam would be the official religion of an independent Indonesia. In April 1945, the Japanese set up an Investigating Committee for the Preparation of Independence, which rapidly came up against the question of the foundation of the future Indonesian state, pitting the ‘Islamic group’ (golongan Islam) against the ‘nationalist group’ (golongan kebangsaan). The former, confident that they represented an overwhelming majority of the Indonesian people, wanted to establish an Islamic state, whereas their opponents, concerned that such a decision would alienate the Christians and other religious minorities (not to mention the nominal Muslims), argued in favour of a state in which religious and secular affairs would be kept separate. In June, Sukarno attempted to overcome the deadlock by outlining the five basic principles – the Pancasila – that were to serve as the foundations of the Indonesian state, which would neither be a theocratic nor a secular state. The fifth principle was ‘Belief in God’ (Ketuhanan).13 According to Sukarno, Indonesian citizens would be free to profess the religion of their choice, no religion being granted an official, or even a privileged, status, not even Islam, notwithstanding its dominant position in the country.

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Sukarno’s proposition was not accepted by the Islamic group, who wanted to include a clause in the Constitution stating that ‘the religion of Indonesia is Islam’. The confrontation was finally resolved when leaders of each group agreed on a compromise known as the Jakarta Charter (Piagam Jakarta), that was to become the preamble to the Constitution. The formulation of this charter bore the mark of the Islamic group. To begin with, the order of Sukarno’s five principles was reversed: ‘Belief in God’ was now first among the founding principles, to which the other four were subordinated. And then, to this first principle was extended a clause – referred thereafter as the ‘seven words’ – which read: ‘with the obligation for the adherents of Islam to carry out Islamic law’ (dengan kewajiban menjalankan Syari’at Islam bagi pemelukpemeluknya) (Boland 1982: 23–6). After the proclamation of independence on 17 August 1945, a new Preparatory Committee for the Independence of Indonesia was convened to draft a Constitution. Owing to the opposition of the nationalist group, the contentious ‘seven words’ were eventually removed from the preamble, while on the other hand, the expression ‘Belief in God’ (Ketuhanan) became ‘Belief in the One and Only God’ (Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa). In the end, Article 29 of the 1945 Constitution read as follows: (1) The State is based upon the belief in the One and Only God. (2) The State guarantees the freedom of each inhabitant to embrace his or her respective religion and to worship according to his or her religion and belief. The omission of the ‘seven words’ would become a bone of contention for decades to come, with repeated attempts on the part of Islamic parties to have the Jakarta Charter reinserted in the Constitution. Moreover, Article 29 contained several ambiguities which were bound to engender further dissent. First, it did not explicitly delineate the relationship between religion and the state. Second, it did not specify what qualified as agama, that is, which religions fostered the belief in the One and Only God, and hence were included under the protection of Pancasila. Above all, the interpretation of the notion of ‘belief ’ (kepercayaan) and the way it related to ‘religion’ (agama) was to be the cause of much controversy. Should kepercayaan be construed as a mere semantic appendage to agama or else as a distinct and autonomous category? And in the latter case, was kepercayaan put on an equal footing with agama by the Constitution, allowing Indonesians the choice between one or the other option? Needless to say, opinions on the matter diverged widely: if for the Islamic group the Constitution only recognized agama, for the nationalist group it distinguished agama from kepercayaan and recognized the legitimacy of both. Be that as it may, as a concession to the Islamic group, a Ministry of Religion (Kementerian Agama Republik Indonesia, KAGRI, later to be renamed Departemen Agama) was established in January 1946. Initially set up to advance Muslim interests, the Ministry of Religion was expanded from the

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start to include separate sections for Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, thereby acknowledging Christianity as a legitimate religion of the Book (Boland 1982: 105–12). Whereas the Ministry of Religion was controlled by santri Muslims, who attempted to use it in order to bring Javanese abangan to commit more strictly to Islam, the Ministry of Education and Culture became a Javanist stronghold. In order to grasp the meaning and import of ‘religion’ in independent Indonesia, one needs to investigate what has been included in – and what has been excluded from – the normative status of agama. While the Constitution guaranteed the Indonesian citizens the freedom to profess and to practise their own religion, the Ministry of Religion endeavoured to restrict the legal acceptation of acknowledged religions, in conformity with the Islamic view of what qualifies as a legitimate agama – that is, an understanding of religion as exclusivist, congregational, scripturalist and universalist (Howell 2005). So much so that, even if Islam failed to establish itself as the official religion of Indonesia, its proponents succeeded in imposing their own conception of the relations between religion and the state, by framing and shaping all the debates about religion. Thus, from 1952 on, the Ministry of Religion made a number of attempts to establish a legal definition of religion. According to the Ministry, in order to be recognized, a religion must be revealed by God, possess a prophet and a holy book, have a codified system of law for its followers, and further, it should enjoy international recognition and not be limited to a single ethnic group. Such a restrictive definition excluded several categories from the status of agama: religious traditions of non-Muslim and non-Christian ethnic groups, such as the Balinese and Indonesian Chinese, on the one hand, and on the other, Javanese abangan and mystical groups holding heterodox views, as well as so-called syncretic ‘new religions’ (agama baru), inspired by self-proclaimed prophets. All these groups were regarded as ‘people who do not yet have a religion’ (orang yang belum beragama), a label associated with primitive backwardness and parochialism. Whereas adherents of ethnic religions were targeted for missionizing, whether by Muslims or by Christians, on the other hand, abangan, adherents of mystical groups and followers of new religions – subsumed by the Ministry of Religion under the heading aliran kepercayaan (literally, ‘streams of belief ’) – were pressed to ‘return into the fold of their mother religion’ (kembali ke agama induknya), that is, Islam. The emergence in the early twentieth century of mystical movements in Java and their dissociation from Islam are an outcome of the breakdown of the Javanese mystic synthesis. These movements are part and parcel of a Javanist cultural revivalism, a riposte to the Muslim reformists who repudiated the mystic strand of Islam. Mystically inclined Javanist intellectuals increasingly combined elements of their Hindu-Buddhist heritage with Sufism, Christianity and Theosophy.14 The overall designation for Javanese mysticism is kebatinan, a term derived from Sufi traditions, which conventionally contrast the ‘outer’ (lahir) and ‘inner’ (batin) dimensions of religious experience.

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Kebatinan is thus the ‘science of the inner being’, in the sense that its adepts search for the experience of the divine in their inner self. While groupings of spiritual seekers around a teacher had been a familiar sight in Java for a long time, kebatinan groups grew in numbers during the early years of independence and became organized into formal movements that outlived their founders. In 1955, the kebatinan groups formed a coordinating body, the Badan Kongres Kebatinan Indonesia (BKKI). Over subsequent years, the BKKI held several congresses and petitioned Sukarno to request a status equal to agama for kebatinan. Despite these efforts, however, kebatinan was not included in the religions listed in Sukarno’s Presidential Decree No. 1 of January 1965 on the Prevention of Abuse and/or Blasphemy of Religions,15 which specified what is meant by agama in the Constitution, namely, Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The Balinese were more successful. After Indonesia’s proclamation of independence, they were greatly vexed when they realized that their religion was not considered a proper agama but was classified as an aliran kepercayaan by the Ministry of Religion. Consequently, if they did not want to become the target of Muslim or Christian proselytizing, the Balinese had to reform their religion in order for it be considered eligible for the status of agama. For this to happen, though, Balinese religion had to be rationalized and redefined in transcendent and monotheistic terms so as to approximate the features of a religion of the Book. The first question to be settled was for them to agree on the name of their religion. After lengthy internal debates, they finally came to an agreement in 1952 to call their religion Agama Hindu Bali. But it took them several years of lobbying before the Agama Hindu Bali would finally be included in the Ministry of Religion, in 1958. While the name Hindu Bali implied a recognition of the distinctive ethnic component of the Balinese Hindu religion, it would be replaced in the early 1960s by the more inclusive name Agama Hindu.16

The ‘New Order’ regime and the resurgence of Islam In the aftermath of the ‘coup’ events of September–October 1965, the army, with a helping hand of santri Muslims, eradicated ‘atheistic communism’, resulting in the massive slaughter of abangan. Numerous kebatinan groups were dissolved, as they were suspected of being infiltrated by communists. Pancasila acquired further prominence as a state ideology, as President Suharto relied on religion to confront the spectre of communism as well as to strengthen his control over the population. Atheism was prohibited and all Indonesian citizens were obliged to be affiliated with one of the recognized religions, mentioned on their identity card. In 1969, Sukarno’s Decree on the Prevention of Blasphemy was converted into law (UU No. 5, 1969). This had the result of turning state-sanctioned religions into mutually exclusive categories, putting increasing pressure on heterodox views to conform.

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Muslim parties, which had been instrumental in fighting communism and bringing Suharto into power, thought that their time had come and pressed to have the Jakarta Charter inscribed in the Constitution. But they were quickly disabused, as Suharto appeared to share Sukarno’s deep suspicion of political Islam. On the whole, the administration of Islam under the New Order aimed at accommodating the religious aspirations of the Muslim community while preventing the Islamic parties from meddling in public affairs. By depoliticizing Islam, this policy was to end in Islamizing Indonesian society, specifically at the expense of Javanism. Yet, at the time, the obligation for Indonesians to be affiliated with one of the state-sanctioned religions did not benefit Islam, as in their quest for protection numerous abangan chose to repudiate Islam outright, opting instead for Protestantism or Catholicism, as well as, to a lesser extent, for Hinduism or Buddhism. Moreover, in the late 1960s, kebatinan groups received the backing of an influential faction of the political and military elite, deeply rooted in a Javanist cultural background. In 1970, the former BKKI was revived under the aegis of the government party Golkar as the BK5I (Badan Kongres Kepercayaan Kejiwaan Kerohanian Kebatinan Indonesia). The same year, the BK5I became the Coordinating Secretariat of Beliefs (Sekretariat Kerjasama Kepercayaan, SKK), and was formally incorporated into Golkar. Thus, one notices a shift in vocabulary. The terms kejiwaan (from jiwa, ‘soul’) and kerohanian (from roh, ‘spirit’) made their appearance next to kebatinan, all these terms being eventually subsumed under the heading kepercayaan (‘beliefs’) (Subagya 1976). This shift points to a normalization of Javanese mysticism, a move away from kejawen, with its depreciatory connotation of superstition, magic and occultism, and closer to a monotheistic orientation, with aliran kepercayaan copying proper agama in having an explicit set of doctrines and congregational structure. By the same token, mystical groups reiterated their claim that the constitutional position of kepercayaan should be acknowledged on a par with that of agama. Their demand appeared to be granted in 1973, when the new Outlines of State Policy (Garis Besar Haluan Negara, GBHN) formulated by the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyarawatan Rakyat, MPR) formally declared kepercayaan and agama as equally legitimate expressions of the ‘Belief in the One and Only God’ (Subagya 1976: 125). Even though the MPR had fallen short of recognizing mysticism as a religion, Islamic milieus put intense pressure on the government to make sure that this would never happen. Consequently, at the time of its following session, in 1978, the MPR specified that ‘Belief in the One and Only God is not a religion’ (Kepercayaan terhadap Tuhan Yang Maha Esa tidak merupakan agama). From then on, the aliran kepercayaan would no longer come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Religion, but would be placed in the Ministry of Education and Culture, where a new directorate was established within the Directorate General of Culture – the ‘Directorate for the Supervision of the Followers of Belief in the One and Only God’ (Direktorat

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Pembinaan Penghayat Kepercayaan terhadap Tuhan Yang Maha Esa). Thus, failing to be recognized as ‘religion’, ‘beliefs’ have been acknowledged as ‘culture’, providing kebatinan with an institutional shelter. Yet, this shelter came at a price. While hitherto it could appear that affiliation to a kebatinan group was almost as good as professing a recognized religion, now the government position was plainly that such an affiliation did not provide Indonesian citizens with proper religious membership. In 1978, the Ministry of Religion issued a set of decrees forbidding any proselytism among the populations already professing, however nominally, a recognized religion, with the aim of preventing the evangelization of abangan. At the same time, the Ministry launched faith propagation campaigns (dakwah), with the intention of winning back the Javanese who had converted to Christianity, as well as to Hinduism or Buddhism, after the bloodbath which had marked the onset of the New Order. And the fact is that, from then on, the Islamization of Java, and of Indonesia as a whole, would start off anew, together with the Islamic world revival. For the time being, however, this resurgence of Islam would be thwarted in the political arena by the government. During its 1978 session, the MPR approved a decree entitled ‘The Guide to the Comprehension and Implementation of Pancasila’ (Pedoman Penghayatan dan Pengamalan Pancasila), which worked toward propagating the New Order interpretation of Pancasila through ideological education courses. Then, in a move aimed at bringing political Islam to heel, a law was passed in 1985, requiring that all political parties and social organizations adopt Pancasila as their one and only ideological guiding principle – their ‘sole foundation’ (asas tunggal). Strong opposition to the asas tunggal legislation came not only from Muslim quarters but from Christians as well, who were equally worried that it was a government strategy to promote a secular ideology, by turning Pancasila into a ‘civil religion’. In spite of their misgivings, however, all major social, political, and religious organizations eventually adopted Pancasila as their sole foundation. This defeat of ‘political’ Islam would prove to be a blessing in disguise for ‘societal’ Islam, prompted as it was by the emergence of a Muslim middle class and a progressive Islamization of daily life. At the same time, the forced acceptance of Pancasila rendered Islam more acceptable, and the government became more responsive to the aspirations of the Muslim community. In the late 1980s, Suharto’s power faced growing challenges from sections of the military, who had heretofore provided his main base of support, and he appeared to court the Muslim community while trying to burnish his own Muslim credentials. This rapprochement between Suharto and Islam culminated in 1990 with the establishment of the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (Ikatan Cendekiawan Muslim Indonesia, ICMI) (Hefner 2000). The increasing prominence of this association and the access of its members to leading government positions attested to a growing importance of Islam within Indonesian politics.

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Agama in a time of Reformasi The resignation of President Suharto in 1998, following a major financial and economic crisis, entailed a substantial political restructuring which brought forth the period known as ‘Reformasi’: freedom of speech and of information, freedom to establish political parties and associations, free national elections, and far-reaching administrative decentralization. However, the flowering of the movement for a democratic Indonesia that had brought Suharto down quickly lost momentum, with most of the old establishment remaining in place and consolidating their power via formally democratic elections. By the same token, the façade of social harmony laboriously crafted by the New Order regime was torn down, as lasting resentments and conflicts that had been simmering under a lid of political repression and cultural censorship began to surface in the open. Dissensions regarding issues of ethnicity, religion, race and social class, that hitherto had been repressed, were brought to the fore. Having been discredited by its use as a political instrument under Suharto, the Pancasila state ideology gave way to confrontational identity politics. The liberalization of the political system brought about a mushrooming of parties of all colours and convictions. The main cleavage opposed parties committed to the national ideology as originally formulated in Pancasila to those that used the discourse of normative Islam as a means for social and political mobilization. New Islamic parties sprang up that asked for a formal endorsement of their religion by the state while seeking to enforce the implementation of its tenets in private and public life. However, this forceful reassertion of political Islam was not sanctioned by the ensuing national elections, and to this day the Indonesian Muslim community appears to be more fragmented than ever, divided between hardliners and democrats, between those holding to an exclusive take on Islam and those inclined to more inclusive views. In addition, the religious issue remains unsettled, as no consensus has been achieved so far on freedom of religion, while the government appears reluctant to let go of state control over religious matters. Whereas only six religions are officially recognized,17 the law also states that other religions are not forbidden. Indeed, in 1998, the MPR adopted a new Human Rights Charter which provided for citizens’ freedom to practise their religion without specifying any particular religions. Furthermore, during his presidential term, Abdurrahman Wahid declared that state recognition of religions was no longer necessary. In this respect, Julia Howell claims that the boundaries of Indonesian limited religious pluralism have been stretched in the Reformasi period, with a widening choice not only within normative ‘religions’ but between ‘religion’ (agama) and ‘belief ’ (kepercayaan) as well (Howell 2005). The breakdown of the New Order regime has brought about significant changes in the administration of the aliran kepercayaan, which seriously disrupted their supervision.

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In 1999, due to a restructuring of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the aliran kepercayaan were moved to the newly established Ministry of Culture and Tourism, causing a general loosening in their surveillance. Yet, this opportunity did not benefit the kebatinan groups as much as it stimulated the emergence of a whole array of new ‘spiritual’ groups eluding classification as either agama or kepercayaan. Howell attributes this flowering of ‘spirituality’ to changes in patterns of personal religiosity occasioned by the expansion of educated and cosmopolitan middle classes, whose members are increasingly inclined to devotionalism and mysticism. Due to the discredit now attached to kebatinan, on account of its alleged parochialism and syncretism, Muslims in quest of spiritual experiences are turning to Sufism, which is enjoying a spectacular revival in contemporary Indonesia (Howell 2007). Yet, at the same time, signs of the radicalization of Indonesian Islam are on the increase. To begin with, the Jakarta Charter has made a remarkable comeback on the front stage. Seizing the opportunity of the debate over constitutional reform, several of the Islamic parties in the newly elected parliament advocated reintroducing the contentious ‘seven words’ into the Constitution. This proposal was rejected in 2002 by the MPR, due to the opposition not only of the secular parties but also of the two largest Muslim organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah. Significantly, debates shifted from the idea of Islam becoming the foundation of the state to the obligation for the government to implement sharia (Hosen 2005). While in the past the aim of the Muslim parties was to set up an Islamic state, now their strategy appears to be to take over the state by establishing an Islamic society. Thus, while failing to amend the Constitution in order to impose the sharia nationwide, various Islamic groups have attempted to use the enhanced authority of regional parliaments under the new regional autonomy law to get elements of the sharia adopted into regional bylaws; this, despite the fact that religious matters fall specifically within the competence of the central government. In the following years, dozens of regencies across the country promulgated sharia-inspired regulations setting out dress codes and norms of good behaviour for women, and requiring religious observations for Muslim school children and public servants. More dramatically, the resurfacing of political Islam in Indonesia has been demonstrated by the emergence of a radical fringe of Muslim fundamentalists expressing themselves through street politics, engaging in jihad against Christians, as well as perpetrating terrorist acts.18 These culminated with a terrorist attack on Bali in 2002, and then again in 2005. The bombings exacerbated the Balinese people’s feeling of vulnerability as a Hindu island in a Muslim Archipelago. They reacted to Islamic terrorism by reasserting their ‘Balineseness’ (Kebalian), as exemplified in the motto Ajeg Bali (literally, ‘Bali Stand Up’), launched with the aim of strengthening the Balinese people’s sense of their religious, ethnic and cultural identity. The problem with this discourse on Ajeg Bali is that it tends to foster the sense of a homogeneous, closed community under threat from the outside, while

Introduction

19

taking on ethno-nationalist implications with slogans such as ‘Bali for the Balinese’. The Balinese are thus urged to take shelter in an exclusivist definition of their identity at a time when the boundary line between the inside and the outside of Bali is becoming increasingly difficult to draw and to enforce, due to the growing heterogeneity of the island’s population and to the fact that, as an international tourist destination, Bali is more than ever involved in global networks of exchanges (Schulte Nordholt 2007; Lewis and Lewis 2009). Specifically, the increasing Islamization of Indonesia appears to have triggered a mimetic reaction on the part of the Balinese people, who have come increasingly to emulate Islamic references in order to define their identity in terms of ‘Hinduism’ (Agama Hindu). Yet, this opposition between Hindu insiders and Muslim (and Christian) outsiders is untenable because, on the one hand, due to its adoption by other Indonesian ethnic groups Agama Hindu is no longer the possession of the Balinese people alone, while on the other hand, not all Balinese are Hindus, a significant minority having converted to Islam or Christianity, not to mention the fact that Balinese ‘Hindus’ have divergent conceptions regarding their religion.

Notes 1 See, e.g. Asad (1993), Balagangadhara (1994), McCutcheon (1997), Dubuisson (1998), Smith (1998), King (1999), Fitzgerald (2000), and Masuzawa (2005). 2 As is well known, Cicero’s etymology related religio to religere, meaning ‘to retrace’ or ‘to read anew’. In this acceptation, religio involved the scrupulous reiteration of the ritual traditions of one’s ancestors. In the third century, the Christian theologian Lactantius rejected Cicero’s etymology, arguing instead that religio derives from religare, meaning ‘to bind’ or ‘to link’, which eventually became the common understanding of ‘religion’. On the origin and evolution of the category ‘religion’, see Sachot (2003). 3 Inasmuch as the Indonesian notion of agama is congruent with the Islamic definition of ‘religion’, it is sometimes equated to the Arabic word din (see, e.g. Hefner 1999: 212; Ramstedt 2004a: 9; Hosen 2005: 426, n. 21). 4 Derived from the Sanskrit root gam, ‘to go’, plus the privative prefix a-, the word agama literally means ‘eternal’ and conveys the idea of ‘revelation’. Also, agama is one of the three ways of obtaining knowledge – the tri-pramana – according to Shaiva theology in India and Bali. The first is the pratyaksha pramana, direct perception through the senses; the second is the anumana pramana, perception through analysis; the third is the agama pramana, perception through a divine revelation received by the seers (rsi). 5 Shaiva-Siddhanta, ‘the final truth of Shiva’, is the most important of all the Shaiva schools, predominantly in Tamil Nadu. The primary sources of Shaiva-Siddhanta are the 28 Shaivagama, a body of Sanskrit texts that are treated as authoritative because they claim to have been revealed by Shiva to his shakti Parvati (Davis 1991). 6 See the collection of essays edited by Kipp and Rodgers (1987) for examples of the intrication between adat and agama in various Indonesian societies. On the other hand, the recent volume on the revival of adat in Indonesian politics edited by Davidson and Henley (2007) does not deal with the relationship between adat and agama, which is a rather unfortunate omission. 7 While this holds true to a certain extent in contemporary Bali as well, in the Balinese language, agama has retained its original polysemy. Thus, in the Balinese-

20

8

9

10 11

12 13

14 15

16

17

18

Michel Picard Indonesian dictionary issued by the Department of Education, agama refers at once to ‘religion’ (agama), ‘law’ (hukum), and ‘customs and traditions’ (adat-istiadat) (Warna 1990: 7). On the other hand, in his Indonesian-Balinese dictionary, the Balinese scholar Sri Reshi Anandakusuma translates agama by dharma (Anandakusuma 1986: 234). One has to be aware that ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Buddhism’ are used here in an anachronistic fashion, as these labels came to the fore and became reified only in the nineteenth century. For a presentation of the spread of Indian religious traditions in Java and Bali, see Gonda (1975). Following Pollock, I understand vernacularization as ‘the historical process of choosing to create a written literature, along with its complement, a political discourse, in local languages according to models supplied by a superordinate, usually cosmopolitan culture’ (Pollock 2006: 23). See, e.g. Ellen (1983), Roff (1985), Woodward (1989), and van Bruinessen (1999). The academic literature on the relations between Islam and Javanism – often expressed in terms of agama Islam vs agama Jawa – is extensive. For an overview of the debate, see Geertz (1960), Bachtiar (1973), Koentjaraningrat (1985), Stange (1986), Mulder (1998), and Beatty (1999). On the historical encounter of Bali with Islam, and on the ensuing relations between Hindu Balinese and Muslims, see Vickers (1987), Couteau (1999), and Hauser-Schäublin (2004a). The Indonesian word Tuhan originally means ‘Lord’, and by extension ‘God’. While the most common translation of Ketuhanan is ‘Belief in God’, it would be more correct to translate it as ‘Lordship’ (Darmaputera 1988: 153; Intan 2006: 73). The other principles are nationhood, humanitarianism, democracy and social justice. On Pancasila, see Bonneff et al. (1980), on the long-drawn-out opposition between the Islamic and the nationalist groups, see Boland (1982), and on the intricate relations between traditionalists and modernists Muslims, see Feillard and Madinier (2000). On Javanese mysticism, see Hadiwijono (1967), Howell (1977), Stange (1980), Geels (1997), and Mulder (1998); and on Theosophy in the Dutch East Indies, see de Tollenaere (2004). Penetapan Presiden No. 1/1965 tentang Pencegahan Penyalahgunaan dan/atau Penodaan Agama. This decree made it illegal to slander, interpret falsely or promote teachings which depart from the core teachings of any of the state-sanctioned religions. Even more so than the Balinese, the adherents of Buddhism and Confucianism experienced numerous institutional and theological difficulties in their endeavour to reinvent their religion as monotheism in order for it to be classified as agama. On the fate of Buddhism and Confucianism in independent Indonesia, see respectively Brown (2004) and Abalahin (2005). Even though in 2000 Abdurrahman Wahid issued a Presidential Decree that reinstated Confucianism (Agama Khonghucu) as a legitimate religion, its institutional status is still open to question (Abalahin 2005). According to the 2000 census, 88.22 per cent of the population label themselves Muslim, 5.87 per cent Protestant, 3.05 per cent Catholic, 1.81 per cent Hindu, 0.84 per cent Buddhist, and 0.2 per cent ‘other’, including traditional indigenous religions. The literature on radical Islam is extensive. For a comprehensive overview of the genealogy and recent developments of Islamic radicalism in Indonesia, see van Bruinessen (2002), and Feillard and Madinier (2006).

Part I

Java

Map 2 Map of Java (courtesy Ade Pristie Wayho, École française d’Extrême-Orient, Jakarta)

1

The Catholic politics of inclusiveness A Jesuit epic in Central Java in the early twentieth century and its memory Rémy Madinier

If Indonesia today, despite being the world’s largest Muslim country, is a religious state, but not an Islamic one, this is mainly due to the historical alliance between a nationalist wing (essentially Muslim) and representatives of the Archipelago’s Christian minority. The role the latter played, between May and August 1945, during the hectic debates which led to the definition of the nation’s religious ideology, is now well documented.1 In several regions, the Christian minority threatened to secede from an Indonesian Republic which would declare an Islamic state. The nationalist wing led by Sukarno, also very reluctant to base the new Republic exclusively on Islam, took these declarations as an excuse for shelving the so-called Jakarta Charter on the eve of independence. The ‘loss’ (kehilangan) of this compromise, which proposed the application of sharia to the Muslim population, earned the nationalists and their Christian allies the lasting enmity on the part of the Islamists (Feillard and Madinier 2006: 163–4). Disproportionate to their total number in the former Dutch colony, the influence of Christians in these debates was due, of course, to their massive presence in certain parts of the Archipelago: representing just over 5 per cent of the total population in 1945, they were the local majority in several regions of the thinly populated but extensive East. However, the Christian contribution to the definition of Indonesia’s religious identity did not find its way only through power struggle and confrontation. The ‘Belief in the One and only God’, the religious compromise that would later become the first Pancasila principle, reflected a deep-rooted religious reality, mainly elaborated in Java and later diffused to the entire area of Indonesia. The spiritual vision, which inspired Sukarno on the day he delivered his famous speech of June 1945, was not simply the fruit of his imagination but reflected a spiritual and much broader consensus (Bonneff et al. 1980). Its formulation found its roots in what had been masterfully described by historian Merle Ricklefs as a ‘mystic synthesis’ elaborated from the sixteenth century onwards between a Hindu-animist substratum and Islam (Ricklefs 2006). Later, from the mid-nineteenth century, this Javanese religious spirituality was enriched with Christian religious elements, which

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were slowly adopted from European circles where until then they had been confined. Such an encounter between Javanism and Christianity spread across various Christian proselytizing groups. As for the Protestants, European missionaries as well as Indo-European pious lay persons and some indigenous religious leaders contributed to the spread of Christianity in a disorderly and often competitive manner. In the case of Catholics, on the other hand, the Jesuits played the decisive role in this development. Back in the Netherlands Indies since 1859, the Society of Jesus was formally charged with the mission in 1893. In 1896, the first three Jesuits settled in Central Java, on the margins of the European environment. The work of one of them, Franciscus van Lith, who spent 25 years (1896–1921) among the Javanese, deserves special attention, both for the profusion of documentation he left and for the prominent role attributed to him by the Indonesian Catholic memory. When van Lith arrived in Muntilan, a small town of Central Java, some 30 km north of Yogyakarta, the number of Catholics in Central Java totalled only a few hundred natives. Forty years later, the 28,877 non-European Catholics of the Apostolic Vicariate of Batavia appearing in the 1939 statistics were almost all living in this area. Today, with half a million Catholics (and more or less the same number of Protestants) in the Archdiocese of Semarang, Christians living in the Indonesian province of Central Java and the Special Region of Yogyakarta represent a rather dynamic minority in this overwhelmingly Muslim society (Suryadinata 2003; Steenbrink 2007: 355). Central Java is thus a very rare example of mass Christianization in a Muslim area. The missionary station of Muntilan, later called the ‘Bethlehem of Java’ by the alumni of the Xavier College, took on the major role in this development (Rosariyanto 1997: 1). Under van Lith’s leadership, Muntilan became the centre of the Catholic Javanese mission during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Most of the first Javanese Catholics were baptized here, and, as we will see presently, some of them later assumed a prominent role in Indonesian society. Despite his indisputable success, Franciscus van Lith was a very controversial figure: F.X. Satiman, the first Indonesian Jesuit, called van Lith ‘the Father of the Javanese’, but the Dutch-colonial government branded him ‘a socialo-communist priest’, Mgr Antonis van Velsen (SJ) called him ‘a dangerous man’ (Rosariyanto 1997: 2), and the Catholic politician Feber spoke of his ‘swerve to the extreme left in his later years’.2 Such varied opinions can be explained by the fact that van Lith personified an acculturation model of Christianity paired with a political commitment, both aspects relatively innovative within the Dutch East Indies clergy. This earned him the enmity of many of his colleagues and conversely boundless admiration from much of the indigenous Catholic population. The Jesuit, often presented as a kind of Catholic wali sanga,3 gave birth to a considerable literature within the Catholic community, which greatly contributed to the Javanese narrative of the implementation of Catholicism.4 In that way, the ‘van Lith epic’, by

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overshadowing some elements and highlighting others, allowed Indonesians to develop a specific conception of their entry into the Catholic religion, which inscribed it in a broader spiritual history. Thus, the study of his actions and the memorial elaboration to which it gave birth allow a very comprehensive analysis of the mechanisms implemented by missionaries and missionized alike to make Catholicism a Javanese and therefore an Indonesian religion. It allows us to follow the local implementation and reception of a ‘politics of religion’ and to identify both the theological Catholic compromises to accommodate the religious Javanese environment and the justifications addressed by van Lith to his supercilious superiors in order to make it suit the norms of the Catholic hierarchy.

Java in the late nineteenth century: a ‘Muslim fortress’ assaulted by two contending modes of Christianization The first Jesuits who, at the very end of the nineteenth century, left the comfort of their European cities to go into the Javanese countryside, encountered a surprising situation. Everything remained to be done after the two centuries of banishment of the Catholic Church from the Netherlands Indies, but they could benefit from the remarkable experience of a Protestant proselytism that was divided into two opposing currents. Kristen Londo versus Kristen Jowo Due to the policies of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), the Christian community had in fact only marginally increased between the departure of the Portuguese in the early seventeenth century and the middle of the nineteenth century. After having banned Catholicism, the Company was not keen either on permitting the expansion of the Reformed religion throughout the Archipelago. With the exception of Catholic Moluccans forced to convert to Calvinism after the departure of the Portuguese, Christianity remained confined to the European community and its immediate surroundings: the majority of the indigenous Christians present in Java in the late eighteenth century were related to auxiliary Dutch troops (most of Moluccan origin). From the end of the eighteenth century, the renewal of the missionary zeal (symbolized by the birth of the Nederlandsche Zendeling-Genootschap, NZG, in 1797), the 1799 collapse of the VOC, and the involvement of the Dutch crown in religious matters (creation of the Indische Kerk in 1835) heralded a new era. It was only in 1848, however, that the first Christian missionary sent by a Dutch society arrived in Java. Missionary proselytism then in its early stage did not achieve any significant results up to the 1890s: the missionaries never did more than follow in the steps of a proselytizing movement that was largely beyond their control. The Christianization that spread throughout Java from the 1820s onward was the result of the work of two other groups of proselytizers: the pious

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European or Indo-European lay persons and some remarkable indigenous religious leaders. The former, often the wives of farmers or officials, settled in small provincial towns, proposed catechism classes and managed to convert a few dozen people.5 Their paths often crossed those of guru ngelmu or ‘masters of wisdom’, a classic figure in the Javanese spiritual landscape at the time. The guru ngelmu, as the true incarnation of the Javanese ability to capture various religious inspirations, were often surprising personalities for whom religion was the only means of upward mobility in a rather rigid society (Guillot 1981: 70). They were by far the most important Christian proselytizers in Java throughout the nineteenth century. Such was the case of Conrad Laurens Coolen, born of a Russian-Dutch father and a Javanese mother, who preached in the Kediri area in the 1820s, or of Tunggul Wulung, a kind of hermit (pandita), who dwelt on Mount Kelud for seven years in the 1840s. In a few years they brought Christianity to several thousands of people (ibid.: 70–88). Their experiences, their successes, but also the often difficult relations they had with the European missionaries highlight many issues which were later to influence van Lith himself, as revealed by the case of one of these guru ngelmu, Kiyahi Sadrach. Guru ngelmu were the apostles of an indigenous Christianity, who taught their disciples a syncretic religion very respectful of their original culture and were thus opposed to ‘alienating’ conversions by European missionaries. The latter indeed encouraged their flocks to abandon their past life, particularly the land they had cleared, and to adopt a Western lifestyle.6 Confrontation between these two kinds of Christianization led to a distinction in Javanese terminology between Christians converted by European missionaries, to be called Kristen Londo (Dutch Christians), and Kristen Jowo (Javanese Christians), converted by Javanese proselytizers (ibid.: 61–2). Such a distinction in fact made clear two different versions of the inclusion of Christianity in the religious Javanese landscape and hence two different world-views: in the first case, that of Kristen Jowo, the Christian contribution was conceived as one element among others in an inclusive Javanese spirituality. In a world focused on Java, guru ngelmu incorporated some elements of Christian doctrine but rejected others (just like Coolen, who refused baptism for his followers). In contrast, the spiritual universe of Kristen Londo recognized and even sacralized Western culture’s superiority by making it an essential element of conversion. Regarding these two different perspectives, we can suggest a few remarks. First, this tension between two different sources of legitimacy was not specific to Christianity. Simultaneously and not coincidentally, Javanese Islam was also marked by the noteworthy confrontation between an ‘emerging abangan majority’, whose religion was deeply rooted in its cultural tradition, and ‘some versions of pious Islam’ which ‘were distancing themselves from Javanese culture’ (Ricklefs 2007: 105–6). It should also be borne in mind that Javanese society was then affected by deep changes and did not react uniformly to the various missionary initiatives. As rightly noted by Claude Guillot, the Western cultural behaviour that had caused the failure of Protestant

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missionaries in their rural missions during the nineteenth century can be considered one of the very reasons for their success in urban communities in the early twentieth century. They were asked to instruct the children in their care in Western science education, the only way to succeed in colonial society (Guillot 1981: 52). The revival of the Catholic Church As for the Netherlands Indies Catholic Church, it was still under reconstruction in 1896. At that time, the number of Catholics in the Archipelago was probably less (around 60,000) than when the Spanish had left the Moluccas, two centuries earlier. Indeed, after a short but promising moment of expansion in the eastern part of Indonesia, marked by the figure of Francis Xavier who spent two years in the Moluccas (1546–47), Catholicism had been deprived of its initially Portuguese (since 1605) and then Spanish (since 1663) protectors, and was subsequently completely forbidden by the VOC, whose representatives were dominated by Calvinists. Only in 1808 was the Catholic Church permitted to hold services publicly again, one year after the creation of the Apostolic Prefecture of Batavia (transformed in 1842 into an Apostolic Vicariat) (Muskens 1979; Heuken 2002; Steenbrink 2003). Despite this new opening, the Roman Catholic Church started developing again only very slowly: the main concern of the first Catholic missionaries who came to Indonesia was to take care of the spiritual life of the European Catholics. Preaching the Gospel among the Javanese was not their remit. Moreover, the colonial government had adopted a neutral position in religious matters: considering that an overwhelming majority of Javanese were Muslim, it had banned missionary action directed at them, in order to prevent any possible disturbance among the population. For all these reasons, during the first half of the nineteenth century, Catholic authorities had no hope of transforming the Javanese religious landscape, considered to be an impregnable Muslim fortress.7 The arrival (or rather the return) of the Jesuits in the Archipelago, after 1856, gradually changed this situation: officially in charge of the mission among the natives (the care of the European population being entrusted to the secular clergy), they started to regard Javanese Islam in a new way. Thus, as early as 1863, Martinus van den Elzen, one of the first two Jesuits who arrived in the Netherlands Indies since the departure of their Iberian predecessors, saw an opportunity for Catholics to find a place of their own within the complex Javanese religious landscape. He admitted ‘that not even a single Javanese has converted since the foundation of the mission in 1808’, but in his opinion ‘in the hinterland there [was] something that could be done’.8 But the penetration of this hinterland, where the presumed equivalence of being Javanese and being Muslim could be disputed to the advantage of Christianity, was not an easy endeavour. For cultural and linguistic reasons, the majority of the Jesuits present in the Netherlands Indies were unable to

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live among the Javanese and thus could not face up to the sharp competition from the Protestant missions. In 1880, however, as a continuation of van den Elzen’s writings, the Jesuit Johannes Palinckx clearly described the main features of the future Catholic mission, its hopes and requirements.9 He emphasized the need to send missionaries far away from the perversion of colonial society in order, he hoped, to regain the naive innocence of the local population (‘the Javanese are children’). He propounded the notion that Islamic practice was limited to a few formal habits10 and was convinced that Islam would not be an obstacle, for, ‘in a few years, many of the Javanese will bow down to the banner of our Lord JC’. He also notably emphasized the need to pay attention to the Protestant missionary experience, especially the remarkable work done by lay persons (‘a few individuals motivated by a fanatic zeal’), while simultaneously pointing to the failure of the missionaries’ action, who had neither tact nor sufficient knowledge of the Javanese language. He finally insisted on the essential qualities required from missionaries sent to the Javanese countryside: a deep knowledge of the Javanese language, a full purse (‘to support the conversions that must be offered, not forced’), and especially ‘a fool-proof patience’ in religious matters, because ‘during the first two years they [should] avoid talking about religion’.

Franciscus Van Lith: from Catholic fervour to a pragmatic attitude inspired by Protestant failure These first Jesuit testimonies give occasion to reconsider the rupture that hagiographic literature often attributes to van Lith. The man who moved to Muntilan in 1896 seems to have continued a pre-existing tradition and in many ways to have been a rather typical Dutch Catholic missionary. Franciscus van Lith was born in 1863 in Oirschot, a small town in the very Catholic Province of Brabant, Southern Netherlands. In September 1881, he entered the novitiate of the Dutch Jesuits at Mariëndaal after training as a school-teacher. After his Juniorat he completed his three years of philosophy in England, then his Regency as a mathematics and English teacher at the Jesuit College of Katwijk, and his theology at Maastricht. He was ordained to the priesthood in September 1894 and was sent to Drongen, Belgium, to begin the last stage of his Jesuit formation, the Tertianship. During his training van Lith never expressed any desire to be sent to the Indies as missionary. His ideals were to work for the conversion of Protestants, in the Netherlands or in England. For him ‘the mission of the Netherlands EastIndies had no future’ and he was convinced that his own ‘strength would be useless there’.11 By finally embarking for Java, if we are to believe his later writings, Franciscus van Lith personified an ideal of submission and sacrifice quite consistent with the Catholic missionary spirit of the late nineteenth century. As rightly noted by Gerry van Klinken:

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The feeling among Catholics that the Indies was a place of spiritual death contrasted sharply with ‘ethical’ Protestant excitement over what they were doing in the colonies at the time. Nothing there connected with the DutchCatholic imagination. Van Lith left in an act of sacrificial obedience. (1996: Appendix) This spiritual (if not corporal) martyrdom contributed to the reputation of the character. Van Lith became the embodiment of the Catholic and Jesuit revival in the Dutch East Indies, after a long period of mourning that had kept the Society away from this apostolate field. By September 1896, the entire mission field seemed to be open and his descriptions of the first contact he had with it confirmed this impression. At that time, although there were already about 60 Jesuits in the Indonesian Archipelago, mission work among the Javanese had only recently started. Some two hundred native Catholics were supervised by Javanese catechists. But when Frans van Lith was appointed in Muntilan (with authority over the stations of Magelang, Ambarawa and Bedono), he discovered that these catechists had abused the trust which Jesuits had put in them: most of the Javanese Catholics had been baptized for ‘statistical reasons’. They had not received any introductory preparation and had no motivation to embrace Catholicism.12 The ‘Sadrach affair’ Seeking to define a more effective missionary politics, van Lith became interested in the former failure of a Protestant mission in the area, later to be known as the ‘Sadrach affair’. A few years before van Lith’s arrival, Central Java had seen an independent Protestant movement led by a man mostly known as Kiyahi Sadrach Suryapranata. Born around 1835 into a relatively poor family, Sadrach was initially inculcated to Javanese spirituality by a master of religion in the region of Semarang. He then deepened his knowledge of Islam by a journey from pesantren (Islamic boarding school) to pesantren in accordance with a wellestablished tradition. This initiatory journey paradoxically led him to meet Christians in north-central Java and he finally converted to Christianity. Baptized in 1867, during an extended sojourn at the house of a top Dutch civil servant in Batavia, he then returned to Central Java and settled in the village of Karangjoso, near the town of Purworejo in Bagelen residency. His mastery of the various cultural and religious components of the Javanese spiritual landscape quickly earned him a great reputation as a spiritual leader: he mastered three languages (Malay, Arabic, Javanese), four scripts (Javanese, Arabic, Pegon, Latin), and three spiritual traditions (Islam, Christianity and Javanese ngelmu). In 1874, after only three years of presence in the region, his Christian community had nearly 2,500 followers. The missionaries owed him almost all baptisms they celebrated. But their desire for a strict control of his

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activities led to significant dissensions. In 1891, these tensions reached a peak during the visit to Java of the Reverend Lion-Cachet, an inspector from the NZG. Because of his intention to take over Sadrach communities, the rupture became inevitable and thousands of Javanese Protestants abandoned almost all contact with European missionaries. A few years later, in 1899, Sadrach, with nearly 7,000 of his followers, joined a sect founded in early nineteenthcentury Scotland, the Apostolic Christian Church, for which he became ‘the Apostle for Java’ (Guillot 1981; Partonadi 1990). ‘A lesson for us’ Some time after his arrival, van Lith met some of Sadrach’s disciples, living in nearby villages. The history of Sadrach’s relations with the Protestant missionaries fascinated him and from 1900 onward he even visited Sadrach on several occasions. A few years later, during a stay in Holland, he even drew inspiration from this experience for a manuscript with the evocative title ‘Kiyahi Sadrach, a lesson for us from the Protestant mission in Central Java’. Part of this work – which could not be published because of its discordance with the Dutch Catholic thought of the time – was based on two contradictory sources: the book of Lion-Cachet, the NZG’s inspector who caused the rupture with the Sadrachians, and another book by Adriaanse, a missionary who, on the contrary, took up Sadrach’s defense (Lion-Cachet 1896; Adriaanse 1899). Much more than the factual narration, on which van Lith provides only few new elements, the book, written after more than twenty years of mission, teaches us a lot about the principles that guided the Jesuit in his efforts to implement Catholicism in Central Java. Indeed, many digressions serve to justify the actions taken by van Lith and provide us with a valuable portrait of his missionary thinking. First of all, it is important to note that the thoughts of the Catholic missionary were based on an analysis of the Protestant mission. The book indeed fully reflects a confrontation behind closed doors between the two branches of Christianity, as it was transposed to the Indies from the Netherlands. Born in Brabant, only a few years after the secession of Belgium, van Lith had mixed feelings toward Protestant missionaries, which included bitterness and a spirit of reconquest, but also humour and some feelings of religious brotherhood. The first lesson he drew from the failure of the Reformed Church in the Sadrach affair was that weaknesses inherent to the Protestant religion could also serve the Catholic experience: the break-up of Javanese Christianity and the birth of communities now no longer under the control of the missionaries were ironically presented as the inevitable result of the Protestant conception of religion: The Javanese Christians read their Bible, and outside any restrictive magisterium, draw their own wisdom from the only source of truth, the

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Holy Scriptures. That is precisely what the missionaries want, you might say, but it ends up being quite different. Those who detect roughly the same [message] in the Bible, meet in a movement to form a community and a church … it is also natural that the Javanese, who differ so much from Dutch missionaries, always find another message in the Bible, form their own Christian community and avoid integration into Dutch Protestant churches.13 Thus, according to van Lith, it was excessive freedom of access to Holy Scriptures, consubstantial with the Reformed doctrine, that gave rise to the failure of the Protestant mission (van Lith 1922b: 30): There is not one Bible that can fully speak for itself. Each Bible needs a guide and an interpreter, that can be no one but the Church itself, the authorized interpreter of the treasure of faith that Christ gave to it. But beyond these somewhat classical Catholic analyses, a thinly veiled warning arose in van Lith’s writings, addressed to his Catholic colleagues who might also be tempted by this ‘stiffness’ that ‘very badly hurts the mission toward the indigenous Christians’ (ibid.: 20). The Protestant experience in Java was therefore not a mere repellent to mock the competitors’ failure. It was also, as the title of the book suggested, a necessary lesson for the Catholic hierarchy, which on several occasions objected to van Lith’s own initiatives. Moreover, his analysis of the ‘Sadrach affair’ gave him the opportunity for an a posteriori definition of the theoretical basis of his actions in favour of an innovative religious acculturation. The message, as we shall see, was twofold: first, one should avoid involving the religious authority of Christianity with the colonial political dominance which van Lith knew would not last; second, one should include Catholicism in a syncretic process that the Protestant mission had unsuccessfully sought to break. Indigenous Christianity, ‘born naturally and imbued with Buddhism, animism and Muhammadism’, should be used as the basis for the mission. This was a way Protestant missionaries were ‘not really able’ to follow because they were ‘insufficiently familiar with the way of Javanese thinking’ (ibid.: 5). In the interpretation of these analyses written at the end of van Lith’s missionary life, one should take into account, of course, his willingness to contribute to his own legend. Asserting himself as the heir to the ‘mystic synthesis’ (in the words of Ricklefs), the Jesuit facilitated the inclusion of Catholicism in Javanese spiritual history while reserving for himself a special place there. This later interpretation underpinned a missionary strategy marked by two characteristics: a very pragmatic appraisal of the necessity to take into account the success of the first Christianizers, and a strong desire to compete with Islamic influence.

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A mystical opportunity for Catholicism and an exit door for Islam Adat as a cultural gateway toward Christianity During the early years of his installation in Muntilan, van Lith adopted a relatively classic approach to proselytism by trying to establish Catholic villages mostly through economic means. His correspondence during this period was full of impossible plans to get economic influence in villages: he planned thus to take over pawnages on rice-fields, to establish an industry of woven bamboo carpets, to start a cotton mill with European machinery … (Steenbrink 1995). All his projects undertaken on this basis failed, and he obtained almost no conversions during his first seven years in Muntilan. These failures led him to reconsider his place in Javanese society and to adopt the modest and pragmatic approach which was later presented as the core of his missionary doctrine. This change was favoured by the striking conflict which opposed him to Petrus Hoevenaars, one of the two other Jesuits who landed with him in Java and who settled in Mendut, some 15 km from Muntilan. According to the later memory of the events established both by himself and by a hagiographic Indonesian literature, van Lith did not attempt, contrary to Hoevenaars, to bring Christianity to the Javanese by depriving them of any previous spiritual identity, but tried instead to build on that very identity. The first point on which van Lith insisted frequently in his later writings was the necessity to respect adat, which he defined as ‘ancestral customs, both religious and others’ (van Lith 1922b: 36).14 A successful implementation of Christianity should not cut the new converts from their Javanese roots. Van Lith believed that Sadrach, by qualifying his community as Kristen Jowo, had wanted to signify to his followers that they should remain Javanese, and that ‘they were right to do so’ (ibid.). While opposing adat to Islam, in line with the new Dutch policies in favour of adat at the end of the nineteenth century, van Lith agreed to retain part of these customs in order to integrate them into Christian worship. Thus he advocated a cultural acknowledgement of Javanese spirituality in its animist-Hindu-Buddhist (that is, non-Islamic) dimension. To the use of sacred places and sacred dates for Catholic purposes, he soon added the integration of gamelan music during Christian ceremonies, a practice he pioneered. To a certain extent, assimilation of some Hindu divinities into the Christian ritual (such as the suggestion of an equivalence between Dewi Sri and the Virgin Mary) were tolerated. Also very illustrative was his position regarding the Ratu Adil legend.15 Recalling that this prediction ‘was largely claimed by the Muslims’ who ‘had Islamized the text of Djajabaja and had replaced the figure of Ratoe Adil by that of Mohammed in order that it meets the Javanese expectations’, van Lith recognized (unlike the Protestant missionaries for whom, as he recalled, it was ‘absolutely unacceptable’) that this prediction ‘undoubtedly formed a great starting point for the announcement of the coming of Jesus Christ’ (ibid.).

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In the same manner, van Lith adopted a very pragmatic attitude towards the slametan, these Javanese traditional religious ceremonial meals during which prayers for the ancestral spirits of a village were pronounced. In terms of missionary work, a frontal opposition to such a practice was tantamount to ‘freezing the hearts’ and could definitively undermine any effort of Christianization. For him, a more efficient attitude was to accept invitations to slametan and there take the opportunity provided by the very inclusive nature of Javanese religiosity (‘[in their view] all religions are good’) to invoke ‘in my own way and loudly, the grace of God’. Similarly he could accept that the Javanese Christians participate in such ceremonies in the hope that, ultimately, ‘a patron saint was to replace the god of the village and Christian prayers be substituted to those spoken by the kaum [the village official appointed to perform Muslim rituals]’ (ibid.: 38). Behind these spiritual arrangements, it can be assumed that a quite remarkable adherence to the mystic synthesis was emerging, to be later formalized in van Lith’s writings. Endorsing the inclusion of Christianity into the great myths of Javanism, van Lith intended to follow in the footsteps of those preachers who had earlier evangelized Java. Several episodes of his missionary tale strongly reflect this aspiration for spiritual continuity. The first was his own ability (or even his willingness) to assume the function of the masters of wisdom who had preceded him. Van Lith later portrayed himself during his first years in Muntilan as roaming the surrounding countryside on his bicycle, trying to establish a broad but respectful dialogue with many spiritual leaders. Leaving to others (his rival Hoevenaars especially) the classic Western hurry-to-save-souls missionary posture, he adopted that of a guru ngelmu, even going so far as to condone his spiritual relationship with the Javanese being inscribed in a decidedly un-Catholic conception of time. On several occasions, his memoirs put him on stage in a role similar to the one held by the first indigenous Christianizers. Van Lith thus recounted how a Christian Javanese, ‘rich but peculiar’, whom he met for nearly three years without succeeding to draw from him more than a few words in low Javanese, came one day to assume, in high Javanese, that he was his former student in a previous life. Confident from their first meeting that he had recognized his former guru, the man kept silent for long years to become sure of his first impression. Finally convinced by the attitude and teaching of his former master, the man then paid his tribute to the Jesuit by honoring him with a sembah and a kissing of his feet (ibid.: 5–6). The reader of van Lith will not miss his implicit assimilation with Tunggul Wulung, mentioned just previously ‘as a pandita honored by his disciples with sembah and foot’s kiss’, regarded ‘as an exceptionally influential man who, by his life as an hermit, gained kasekten, that is to say supernatural power’ (ibid.: 4). The way van Lith’s memories managed to inscribe his Catholicism onto the Javanese religious landscape is illustrated by a collective baptism that took place in December 1904 in a place later to be known as Sendangsono. This episode assured him a comfortable position to face his superiors and

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contributed to his reputation as the ‘father of Javanese Catholicism’. Thus, this date has been officially accepted as marking the arrival of Catholicism in Java and as such has given rise to numerous commemorations and a rich hagiographical literature (Liem Sioe Siet 1957; Sindhunata 2004). Van Lith’s analysis of the Sadrach’s affair and his distrust regarding rapid baptisms led him to adopt a very different method from that of Petrus Hoevenaars, who had launched a policy of rapid and systematic conversions and had entered in open conflict with van Lith, whom he accused of inefficiency (Sindhunata 2004: 21). For several years indeed, the van Lith method did not lead to any concrete results. As observed above, his long visits to the neighbouring villages and his patient study of Javanese spirituality had allowed him, according to his epic, to acquire the reputation of a guru ngelmu among the Javanese. But nearly eight years after he had settled in Muntilan, he had not yet managed to carry out a single baptism. His superiors, pressed by Hoevenaars, began to lose patience and were ready to recall him when the baptism of Kalibawang took place. In 1904, the Javanese catechist assisting van Lith, Andreas Manasse, came to him with five Javanese men – notables or heads of villages – of the district of Kalibawang. The Jesuit agreed with them that they would come to Muntilan with their villagers once every two or three weeks on the Pon and Kliwon Sundays, in a combination of the Javanese five-day week and the MuslimChristian seven-day week. A few months later, the first 173 Javanese were baptized in the village of Semagung where some of them originated. There, a miraculous well was flowing under a huge sono tree. The choice of this place, although outside the territory where the Jesuit was allowed to work, was symbolically very significant. Van Lith knew that there was an old road between two Buddhist monuments, Boro-Kidul and Borobudur. His intention to establish a continuity with a local spiritual history referring at least to the Buddhist period (but excluding Islam) was later underlined by the Jesuit himself (Claverbond 1930, cited in Steenbrink 2007: 375): Here I stood as the first Catholic priest at the spring, where a few months later I would baptize the first 200 Christians of Kalibawang, the same spring where in former times the Buddhist monks in the yellow robes had quenched their thirst while travelling from one Bara to another monastery. The place where the baptism was celebrated later became the religious centre for the Catholics in the region under the name of Sendangsono (literally, the Pond of the Sono Tree), with a Lourdes grotto inaugurated in 1929. Since then, commemorations have frequently been organized to celebrate the event, giving rise to numerous pious publications (Sukardi 1995; Sindhunata 2004). In 2004, the baptism’s centenary was celebrated with great pomp at Sendangsono. The issue of this memorable episode is all the more important as it ended in a sudden and unexpected way the fierce competition between van Lith and his colleague Hoevenaars. While the letter requiring his dismissal

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was already ready to be sent, after the collective baptism, van Lith was allowed to remain in Muntilan. Moreover, it was his competitor, Hoevenaars, who was sent to Bandung a few month later, after being accused of baptizing Muslim children without their parents’ agreement (Rosariyanto 1997: 244–7). As recorded in the Javanese Catholic literature, the conflict between van Lith and Hoevenaars, with its dramatic epilogue, by far exceeded the personality of these two men: in a few weeks it was the confrontation between two missionary models – and even between two types of Christianity – which came to an end. Van Lith’s respect and inclusiveness towards Kristen Jowo overcame the almost Calvinist rigidity of Hoevenaars as one of the last supporters of Kristen Londo. It is unclear to what extent the memorable importance of the event contributed to its historical reconstruction, in which van Lith himself took a leading role. Several indicators suggest that this process was important. The circumstances of this first collective baptism, and particularly its precise date, remained unclear.16 In addition, the testimony of one student who enrolled at the Muntilan school in 1908 gives rise to suspicion that methods of conversion might have been a little more prosaic. He thus recalled that at church on Sundays there were, besides the students, a couple of Catholic teachers and their families, a handful of Christians from villages spread far and wide, a group of faithful Kalibawang villagers, and some extremely poor people. The last two categories appeared to appreciate the small coins that Father van Lith handed out to them personally after high mass. (Satiman, in van Lith, ‘Geschiedenis’, cited in van Klinken 1996: Appendix) Whatever the historical reality may have been, many factors explain why this event has become emblematic of the integration of Catholicism in Java: its collective nature, the patient spiritual work that had preceded it, and finally the place chosen by van Lith, marked both by its pre-Islamic past and its distance from the colonial world. For Javanese Catholic memory, the tale of van Lith (with Sendangsono as a major achievement) took its place all the more naturally into their long spiritual history that the Jesuit had paid a heartfelt tribute to it. A differentiated religious policy According to van Lith’s later writings, his action was not only an opportunistic response to the Javanese expectations, but was also underpinned by an elaborate missionary religious politics, which received, often after epic debates, the anointment of his hierarchy. Both van Lith’s writings and his practical choices of action were based on a differentiated approach of the two spiritual traditions present in Java. Towards

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the old animist-Hindu-Buddhist substratum, he showed flexibility and a high tolerance. Faced with Islam, on the contrary, he adopted a much more offensive attitude. These two principles that guided his actions were in fact inextricably linked. Like some of his missionary colleagues and many government officers, van Lith considered the animist-Hindu-Buddhist substratum as the core of the true Javanese culture. Deeply rooted in the region, and constitutive of an identity far beyond mere issues of worship, this heritage was impossible to fight and it was therefore better to live with it. For him, as we have said, that old spiritual base even offered opportunities for Catholicism by allowing a system of equivalences which could favour the subsequent accommodation of the Christian religion. Based on a principle of immanence, sufficiently distant from the transcendental basis of Christianity, Javanese spirituality could facilitate the identification of certain elements of the Christian revelation with existing beliefs. In making such analyses, van Lith agreed with some of his predecessors, but he also drew upon a more general tradition, that of a missionary discourse seeking in pre-Islamic religious traditions a remedy to its repeated failures in Islamic countries. This attitude, particularly developed during the second half of the nineteenth century, sought to identify the margins of orthodox Muslim environments conducive to syncretism and assimilation of Christianity.17 The great tolerance van Lith showed towards the old Javanese religious heritage cannot be understood without taking into account his intention to supplant Islam. If the brutal condemnation of this whole tradition (as the caricatural Lion-Cachet had done) seemed unrealistic to the Jesuit, this was also because he considered such an attitude as an effective way to circumvent Islam, which he deemed more threatening.18 Thus, if pre-Islamic Javanese spirituality was presented as a possible basis for the Christianization of the Javanese, Islam, on the contrary, was seen as totally in rivalry with Christianity. As appears from the analysis of a few important issues he had to manage, the religious policy of van Lith was, on the one hand, to consider local rituals first and foremost as Javanese, that is to say as cultural ones, and, on the other hand, to neutralize their Islamic dimension. One of the major problems he had to resolve was linked to the question of circumcision. In the classic Catholic pastoral rules, this practice was banned. In mixed marriages, for example, the non-baptized partner was obliged to make a written declaration which obliged her/him to follow some directions of the Catholic Church. One of the obligations was to refrain from having their future son(s) circumcised. Van Lith did not apply this regulation. This issue had been a major source of conflict between the Sadrachian Christians and the Protestant mission. In order to avoid the same error, in 1902, van Lith sent to his hierarchy a detailed report on the subject. He explained that two different practices of circumcision had to be distinguished in the Indonesian Archipelago: the Polynesian and the Muslim one. The first one was done at the age of puberty. Celebrated as the rite of initiation to adulthood, it had,

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according to van Lith, been practised in Java long before the arrival of Islam. Then, when Muslim influence increased, the ceremony of circumcision was joined with Islamic prayer and was consequently considered as a visible sign of conversion to Islam (Kaptein 1995). By banning the Arabic prayer, van Lith restored the pre-Islamic dimension to the circumcision. Moreover, his argument employed the hygienic dimension of this practice under the Javanese tropical climate and asserted, for these reasons, that circumcision was to be authorized for Catholics.19 The aim of van Lith to erase the Muslim elements of Javanese spirituality could also be found in the ‘linguistic policy’ he followed. In many reports to his superiors he tirelessly advocated intensive Javanese language training for new missionaries who should, for this very reason, be sent to the Netherlands Indies at a relatively young age.20 Wishing to contribute to the development of a modern colonial society where the Dutch language and Western civilization would become increasingly important, van Lith initiated training schools in Muntilan, where the Dutch language gradually became the first medium of instruction. Moreover, there was also much stress on Javanese as a cultural and sometimes also liturgical language. On the contrary, Malay, which was considered a Muslim language, was sidelined as a means for instruction and communication. In the same way, one of the most astonishing positions van Lith took concerning Islam was the position on marriage he defended. The diffusion of Christianity in Javanese society came up against the Muslim social surroundings concerning the question of matrimony. The only available institution which regulated matrimony on the island of Java was the penghulu, a Muslim official appointed by the Dutch government for that purpose. In predominantly Christian areas, such as Minahasa, Flores, or the Moluccas, the colonial government had entrusted Christian matrimony to Protestant ministers and to Catholic priests, but the same regulation could not be applied in Java because the government did not want to stir up reactions among the Muslims. Since the penghulu was Muslim, all Javanese matrimonies had a Muslim character. As a consequence, a number of catechumens left Father van Lith because after their matrimonies ‘they now belonged to the Muslim flock’ (Rosariyanto 1997: 214). Even the new converts who married a Muslim woman (a very common situation among the alumni of Muntilan schools) were thus taken away from Catholicism. As a first step, van Lith accepted that some of these Christian marriages could be celebrated doubly, both in the Church and in the Mosque. Using the kind of tortuous argument in which he seems to excel, he even allowed the Christian groom (or at least his representative) to pronounce the shahada.21 But in order to avoid the perpetuation of this Muslim influence on social life, van Lith asked the Superior Missionis and Mgr Luypen, the Episcopal vicar of Batavia, to allow him to become an official registrar of matrimony just as the penghulu was. Thanks to his good relations with government officials, he was already allowed to register the matrimony of ‘his community’,

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that is, groups of catechumens as well as sympathizers of the Catholic religion who had not yet decided to be catechumens. With the development of this community, he now needed an official appointment. But both Mgr Luypen and Father Hoevenaars were very reluctant to do so and saw an incompatibility between the tasks of an official registrar and the function of a priest. According to them, to record the divorces was, in the Javanese context, included among the tasks of the registrar, a practice which was essentially contrary to the indissoluble character of marriage. In 1902, van Lith sent a long letter to Mgr Luypen to clarify his proposal (Rosariyanto 1997: 349). In this document he formulated the idea that the matrimony practice among Javanese Muslims did not have any sacred significance. For him, many Javanese were Muslims in name only and considered matrimony as a trading contract, the bridegroom’s family act of ‘buying’ the bride. He explained that Muslim law did not prescribe that the Javanese matrimony be legalized in front of the penghulu, but that the practice had been introduced by the Dutch government merely for civil administration. The penghulu who legalized the matrimony was only regarded as the guarantor of the mercantile contract. In a way, this proposal amounted to secularizing social space in order to keep Islam out of it. In contesting any religious dimension of the Muslim matrimony of the Javanese, van Lith could consequently consider taking the place of the penghulu in what was only an administrative act. But by doing so he also had to renounce somehow the Christian part of matrimony that he celebrated. That was not really a problem for him because he judged that the requirements of Catholic matrimony were still too high for the Javanese (ibid.: 353).Sometimes van Lith would have to register cases of divorce. He explained that if the couples concerned were not Catholics, they were not bound by the indissoluble character of the sacrament, and for the Javanese divorce was not something scandalous. And if they were Catholics, he would also record their divorce, without annulling the sacrament, but, again, merely for administrative reasons. Through this very example, one can see the extent of pragmatism of van Lith’s vision of his mission. Thanks to his ‘canonical acrobatics’ he succeeded, in May 1902, to convince the Superior Missionis that a priest could enact the marriage of Muslims and pronounce a Catholic divorce. All this happened despite the opinion of Mgr Luypen, who considered van Lith’s method of matrimony to be ‘pernicious’ (ibid.: 356).

A successful educational policy The true core of Catholic proselytism? The year 1904 is not the only symbol of van Lith’s role in integrating Catholicism into the Javanese religious landscape. For part of the Indonesian Catholic memory the beginning of the 1910s seems to have been a more

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significant period for the future role of Catholicism in Indonesian society. For it was then that the steps, initiated by van Lith many years earlier to open a school to train a Catholic elite, came to fruition. When, in 1896, van Lith and Hoevenaars moved to Central Java, settling only a few kilometres from each other, they each took with them some students from the catechist school of Semarang. In Mendut, Hoevenaars immediately set them to work by sending them to preach in the vicinity, making it possible to quickly get some conversions. Van Lith, on the contrary, wanted to include them in a long-term strategy. He enabled his catechists to obtain a Kweekeling degree for aspiring teachers. This allowed him, in 1900, to transform his school into a Kweekschool-A, a Javanese language school training teachers. In the following years, thanks to the recognition of his teachers’ diplomas, van Lith could open six elementary missionary schools, supported by the colonial government. Pursuing his efforts, he undertook to open a Kweekschool-B, designed to train teachers but with Dutch as language of instruction. The case was complicated because it encountered the hostility of his hierarchy. In 1907, he eventually managed to obtain the necessary help for his project with the sending of Dutch Jesuit scholastics from the Netherlands. Above all, he took advantage of the visit, in 1911, of Father Voegel, the first Dutch Provincial to visit the Indies, to expand his project. Thanks to the recommendations of the latter, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus promoted the Kweekschool of Muntilan to the status of a Jesuit college (the Xavier College). This recognition facilitated the achievement of a Kweekschool-B status in 1912, obtained after a visit by the Governor-General A.W. F. Idenburg to Muntilan had demonstrated the government’s interest in the Xavier College. Then, in 1925, the Jesuit college was transferred to Yogyakarta and it was decided to open a Catholic Dutch high school (Algemeen Middelbare School, AMS), to prepare students for university. The major school complex built by the Jesuits in Muntilan expanded over the years: in 1912, it nearly had 400 students. Moreover, in order to avoid his former students, already converted to Christianity, returning to Islam at the time of their marriage, van Lith opened schools for girls in the region (almost 250 schoolgirls in 1919).22 These schools played an important role in the Christianization of the region because most students who registered converted during their studies. Among them, some showed an early desire to join the clergy. In 1912, van Lith obtained permission to open a Jesuit novitiate in Muntilan. After their initial training, candidates were sent to the Netherlands to continue their studies. But after the death of two of them, van Lith pushed for the creation of a complete training cycle for Jesuits priests in Yogyakarta in 1922. Not only did this new complex provide Jesuits with a virtual monopoly on the training of indigenous Catholic clergy, but it also played an important role in the Christianization of the region. During their studies, the seminarians were indeed sent to the surrounding villages to catechize the people, and they had some success.

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The training of an elite: the inclusion of Catholics in the political landscape The Jesuits’ educational work in Central Java therefore had direct consequences in terms of the number of conversions. But even more than their mere numbers, the quality of the new converts was decisive for the future social and political influence of Catholics in Indonesia. Until the Second World War, as no other Catholic region had been able to develop such an advanced education system, the whole Catholic elite was educated in Muntilan.23 One reason for this success was the fact that the evolution of the education system set up by van Lith coincided with a change related to the Ethical Policy.24 The possibility of becoming a government employee, previously a hereditary privilege, became based on education. Yet the institutions van Lith founded were the only schools in the region to meet the government criteria. This led to a change in the social origin of these students. The children of surrounding villages were gradually replaced by those of the urban elite. From the 1910s onward, Muntilan attracted the children of the aristocracy and wealthy families of Solo, Yogyakarta, Klaten and Magelang in search of means of entry into the administration (Binnenlandsch Bestuur). Although he never quoted the leading figures of the Ethical Policy (van Klinken 1997), van Lith’s approach conformed with them and may even be qualified as its Catholic manifestation. The Governor-General A.F.W. Idenburg (1909–16), who was himself one of the leading figures of this movement, was very aware of its importance and provided full support to the Jesuit’s projects. Until 1915, maybe because he was first intent upon developing his missionary work, van Lith did not unveil his political ideas. But the success of the Xavier College made him a popular personality in power circles, and he was entrusted with several official assignments and was appointed to positions that led him thereafter to speak publicly on political issues.25 In 1916, he was sent to the Philippines as a member of a Committee for the Indigenous Education newly inaugurated by the colonial government. Then, in 1918, he was appointed as a representative of the Catholic Church as a member of the Commission for the Review of State Institutions of the Netherlands Indies. The political vision he developed was based on emancipating paternalism, quite classic for Ethicists but still of only very limited dissemination among the Catholic hierarchy. For him, the unavoidable prospect of an indigenous sovereignty should encourage colonizers to form a Christian elite that could play a leading role in the necessary Javanese renaissance (one did not speak at this time of Indonesia). The combination of Javanese kraton culture with a widespread social Catholicism was to build a moral and hierarchical society, in a pattern that was represented among several streams of the indigenous elite.26 To ensure the Catholic Church’s future, it was important not to allow it to remain in close association with the colonial enterprise, as was the case in the Philippines. Thus van Lith warned his colleagues that in case of tumult or revolution, missionaries should be on the side of the natives (Rosariyanto

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1997: 330). For him, Catholics who were not so much implicated in colonization had a mediating role to play in the emancipation process (Bank 1999: 40). In accordance with the paternalistic thought widespread even in progressive circles, in order to manage the passage of the Javanese toward autonomy, he proposed a rather naïve system of two chambers of representatives sharing the same authority. The first, composed mostly of Dutchmen, would initiate the second, composed of Indonesians, to parliamentary democracy. But van Lith’s political thought, as adopted by his entourage in Muntilan, did not remain confined to the theoretical sphere. It greatly influenced a whole Catholic generation which took part in the integration of the community in independent Indonesia (Boelaars 2005: 464). Two personalities played a prominent role in this process. The first was Joseph Ignatius Kasimo Endrawahjana (1900–86) (van Klinken 2003: 51–68; Tim Wartawan Kompas 1980). Born into a family of the court entourage of Sultan Hamengkubuwono of Yogyakarta, he converted to Christianity at the end of his schooling in Muntilan, in 1912. Pursuing his studies at the School of Agriculture of Buitenzorg (now Bogor), he then returned to his native area. In 1923, Leopold van Rickevorsel (1884–1955), a Jesuit who taught at Muntilan, contacted him in order to launch a Javanese Catholic Association in Yogyakarta. The initiative (Katholieke Javanen Vereeniging voor Politieke Actie te Yogyakarta) received support from another Jesuit, Johannes van Rickevorsel (a relative of Leopold), a moralist who advocated a concept of ‘organic’ society in line with the social Catholicism of the Rerum Novarum encyclical (1891). Initially part of the Indische Katholieke Partij (IKP), controlled by Europeans, the Javanese association gradually freed itself and then became independent under the name of Javanese Catholic Political Association (Pakempalan Politiek-Katholiek Djawi, PPKD). This movement was considered by its missionary promoters as a way to defend the Catholic cause in colonial institutions (particularly the Volksraad, where Kasimo sat from 1931 onward), but also as a way to keep the Catholics away from a nationalist movement considered revolutionary.27 At first, the PPKD was perfectly instrumental for this objective. Along with the Protestant Association of Minahasa, it was part of the very few political organizations that refused to join the PPPKI (Permoefakatan Perhimpoenan-Perhimpoenan Politiek Kebangsaan Indonesia), a nationalist federation founded in late 1927 by the Indonesian National Party (PNI) and the Socialist Party (PSI) (van Klinken 2003: 57, 77–8). But during the following years, the Catholic indigenous movement gradually escaped from the control of its missionary promoters and joined the nationalist wing. Indeed, the indigenous Catholic denial of a ‘breakaway nationalism’ was still conceivable as the ‘Ethical fiction’ of a rational evolution toward independence remained credible. However, from the early 1930s, the stiffening of the colonizers proved the illusory nature of such an expectation and set indigenous Christians – widely invested in the Ethical movement – at odds with their Dutch protectors. The infinite clumsiness of

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the representatives of the Netherlands government eventually convinced a large part of the Christian elite that their ideal of hierarchy, order and progress would probably be better served in an independent Indonesia. In July 1936, Kasimo, leading a renamed Indonesian Catholic Political Association (Persatoean Politik Katolik Indonesia, PPKI), affixed his signature to the so-called Soetardjo Petition.28 This first statement – though considered too subservient by other nationalist movements – was an important step in the Catholic commitment: it marked its formal acceptance of the prospect of an independent nation-state including the whole territory of the Dutch East Indies, and opened to the Catholic representative the doors of Gapi (Gabungan Politik Indonesia, ‘Indonesian Political Union’), the great nationalist federation of the late 1930s. After independence, the Indonesian Catholic Party, despite its light numerical weight, was recognized as an important political force, and Kasimo served in several governments between 1947 and 1955 (Bank 1999: 179–80). The second character who greatly contributed to the political integration of Catholics in independent Indonesia was Soegijapranata Albertus (1896–1963). Symbol of the indigenization of the Catholic clergy (he was the first Indonesian bishop), Soegijapranata was the architect of the alignment of the Catholic Church with the young Indonesian Republic. Born into a family of religious clerics of Central Java (his father had worked as an abdi dalem [court servant] in the Surakarta kraton before settling in Yogyakarta), he joined the Xavier College of Muntilan in 1909. It is there that he was destined for conversion to Christianity and later entry into the Society of Jesus. Ordained as a priest in 1931, then as a bishop in 1940, this long-time supporter of an ‘aristodemocracy’ limited to Java also ended up embracing the idea of a parliamentary Republic encompassing the entire Dutch East Indies. After much hesitation, recognizing the futility of Dutch Christian propaganda which reduced the Republic to mere Islamic or communist fanatics, he joined the Republic in 1947. Incurring the wrath of the Dutch Bishop of Batavia, Mgr Soegijapranata strongly denounced the abuses of human rights committed by Dutch troops and he became the clever architect of the Vatican recognition of the Republic. This commitment, symbolized by his motto, ‘100% Catholic, 100% Indonesian’, earned him the recognition of President Sukarno who, after his death in 1963, elevated him to the dignity of national hero (Soegijapranata 1934; Subanar 2003: 152).

Conclusion The importance and complexity of van Lith’s epic heritage lend great significance to his role in the religious history of modern Indonesia. The construction of his life-story, both by his own writings and by those of people from his entourage, was a complex construction of memory that tells us a lot about how Javanese Catholicism built its legitimacy and inscribed itself in the plural religious landscape recognized by Pancasila in 1945.

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The construction of the Catholic memory was based on a series of successive choices that have rid van Lith’s epic of what were considered secondary aspects, in order to allow the emergence of two main elements that each correspond to different visions of Pancasila. The combination of these two views of the past allows us to analyse the success of Indonesian Catholicism in its ‘search for historicity’.29 The first aspect of the van Lith epic highlighted by collective Catholic memory was his educational and political action that greatly contributed to the recognition of a religion of colonial origin by independent Indonesia. This memory was carried by a generation whose conversion to Catholicism allowed its social and political emancipation, first in the Dutch East Indies, then in the Republic. In 1849, the Dutch authorities had decided to legally assimilate the indigenous Christians to Europeans. But they suppressed this measure in 1853. The hope of assimilation by religion lasted four years, at a time when the true missionary effort had not yet started (Lombard 1990, vol. 1: 82). Then, in the first decades of the twentieth century, the expansion of Christianity was accompanied, in several regions, by the hope of new converts to be recognized within a colonial system that seemed more open at that time. These new Christian elites first sought to be recognized by the colonial government and then developed toward a pre-nationalism centred on their community. In the 1930s, they finally joined the general nationalist movement. For Catholics, the Xavier College of Muntilan in Java played a decisive role in this process. It was there that several projects for Javanese political emancipation supported by a Catholic elite of priyayi were initially developed. These projects eventually led to the support for the struggle for independence on the part of Indonesian Catholic political leaders and clergy. This allowed the inclusion of Catholicism as one of the five official religions recognized by the new Republic. Van Lith’s progressive ideas and his political commitment, relayed by some of his students, explain the place he holds in the memory of these events. This eminent role was acknowledged by the leader of the nationalist movement, the future President Sukarno himself. Thus, during his trial held in Bandung in August–September 1930, which he transformed into a political forum, Sukarno quoted van Lith’s article ‘De politiek van Nederland ten opzichte van Nederlandsch-Indië’. Describing Father van Lith as ‘a righteous man with pure heart’, Sukarno endorsed his criticism of the sense of superiority and excessive pride widespread among the Dutch (Sukarno 2001: 178). But the van Lith epic outlines also another Catholic memory, one that is more complex: that of a Javanization of Catholicism. It appears through the character of van Lith as celebrated throughout the episode of the Sendangsono baptism: a charismatic figure taking part in the mystic synthesis and thus paying homage to a spiritual identity broader than just Catholicism, and even than monotheism.30 This second memory of van Lith recognized and even claimed a much more flexible spiritual identity: a space of porous religious borders with frequent borrowings, where the spiritual identity is

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constructed by successive additions rather than ruptures or scissions. Quite similar in nature to the Javanization of Islam that had been at work for a long time, this Javanese version of Catholicism also supports an alternative reading of Pancasila, in which the ‘Belief in the One and Only God’ is not perceived as a compulsory and limited choice between five clearly defined religions, but as recognition of a spiritual identity drawing on multiple sources. Finally, one of the major issues raised by van Lith’s missionary action is the question of its marginality within the missionary policy in general and that of the Jesuits in particular. The insertion of van Lith within the Dutch Indies Roman Catholic Church was often problematic. His progressive ideas, his original methods and above all his very strong character, caused frequent conflicts with his Jesuit colleagues and his hierarchy in Indonesia. Hence, his return to Indonesia in 1924, after spending two years in the Netherlands for health reasons, was the subject of strong opposition from some of his colleagues and superiors. However, van Lith also enjoyed significant support in his order: the College of Muntilan would never have flourished without the support of many other Jesuits, and the general of the Society of Jesus himself imposed his return to Indonesia against the will of the local hierarchy. Indeed, contrary to what the Indonesian Catholic memory suggests, we must be wary of exaggerating van Lith’s marginality within the Christian mission. First, his attitude, very respectful toward the Indonesian religious heritage, fitted in line with the actions undertaken by some Protestant missionaries present in Java in the second half of the nineteenth century. Samuel Eliza Harthoorn, for instance, who worked between 1856 and 1862 in Malang, was extremely tolerant of Muslim or pagan practices such as circumcision or slametan (Steenbrink 1993: 99). Jacob Wilhelm, a NGZV missionary in Central Java in the 1880s, was one of the few Europeans to defend the very syncretic practices of Sadrach and win the friendship of the latter (Partonadi 1990: 76–80). More importantly, van Lith’s positions were part of a much older tradition, present in the Society of Jesus since its foundation. From the seventeenth century, actually, some of the Jesuits who were sent to Asia sketched what was later defined as the ‘accommodatio doctrine’. Following Matteo Ricci (1552–1610) in China and Roberto de Nobili (1577– 1656) in India, these missionaries tried to define an approach to inculturate Christianity in local spiritual cultures. According to the Jesuit tradition, this accommodatio doctrine goes back to the very origins of the Society and was often defined by a phrase attributed to Ignatius of Loyola: ‘enter through the other’s door to get him out by his own’ (Ganty 2002: 126). Its implementation sparked major debates that are reminiscent of those that opposed van Lith to some of his colleagues in Java. In China in the seventeenth century, the Jesuits adopted the characteristic attitudes of other marginal religions such as Buddhism, Judaism and Islam: the insistence on consistency and compatibility between minority religion and Confucianism, the concept of complementarity, by which foreign

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faith is to supplement and enrich the Confucian doctrine, the tendency to base the existence of the foreign doctrine on historical precedents, often dating back to the origins of Chinese civilization. (ibid.) This missionary strategy caused a major conflict within the Catholic Church, called the Rites controversy. The Dominicans and the Franciscans complained that the Jesuits allowed new converts to keep performing their rites to ancestors and Confucius, and, in 1639, an investigation started from Rome to shed light on what was permitted by the Jesuits in China. Initially, the position of the papacy was hesitant: in 1645, a decree of Pope Innocent X declared these ceremonies as superstitious and idolatrous, but in 1656, a decree of the new Pope Alexander VII considered some of the ceremonies, including tributes to ancestors as civil customs which should be tolerated. In 1704, a decree of Clement XI condemned the Chinese rites permanently. However, the controversy was not completely over and finally, in 1939, under Pius XII, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith allowed Chinese Christians to practise the rites to ancestors in arguing their civil (i.e. non-religious) nature. The question of the distinction between religious traditions and civil customs was therefore not particular to Indonesia. During the first decades of the twentieth century, the papacy moved slowly toward a more flexible position concerning what was later known as inculturation. In this context, the benefit of the support that van Lith received from his superiors in Rome against the local hierarchy appears to be more understandable. The originality of van Lith’s opinions did not lie in the distinction he made between what belonged to religion and what belonged to adat but, rather, in the very broad definition he adopted for the latter. By regarding some rituals such as circumcision or slametan and even some elements of Islamic marriage as primarily cultural, van Lith defined a very large space in which Javanese Catholics could evolve without feeling at odds with their spiritual environment. Other missionaries, like Hoevenaars, adopted a much more restrictive definition of custom by considering that all these rituals brought into play religious elements and, therefore, had to be fought against. These differences in assessments among missionaries who were yet very close geographically and culturally witness the complexity of religious implementation processes. Far from being a uniform trend imposed from top to bottom by a monolithic hierarchy of proselytes, religious inculturation appears essentially a bargaining game in which the individual missionary’s experiences took a prominent role.

Acknowledgements I would like here to warmly thank Gerry van Klinken for his highly valuable critical comments of a first version of this chapter.

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Notes 1 See Muskens (1979), Steenbrink (1993), Ngelow (1994), Bank (1999), and van Klinken (2003). 2 L. J. M. Feber, ‘Pastoor van Lith, SJ’, SC (1926), pp. 35–9, cited in van Klinken (1996: Appendix). 3 The wali sanga (the ‘nine saints’) are reputed to have spread Islam in Java. Their graves are venerated and locations of ziarah or local pilgrimage in Java. 4 See Rijckvorsel (1952); Muskens (1979); Panitya Kerja Monumen Romo F.V. Lith S.J. (1995); Rosariyanto (1997); Subanar (2003); and Boelaars (2005). 5 Mrs Le Jolle, wife of a farmer in Salatiga; Mrs Oorstrom, half-blood wife of a batik trader in Banyumas; Mrs Phillips, her sister-in-law, also half-blood, in Purworejo (Guillot 1981: 39–49). 6 Thus, one guru ngelmu, Emde, forced his followers to have short hair, he banned gamelan music, attendance of wayang performances and slametan traditional ceremonies. Reading Javanese poetry and the decoration of graves were also banned. Followers were obliged to wear trousers and jackets when they went to church (Guillot 1981: 63). 7 At the beginning of his vicarship, Mgr Vrancken (1847–71) wrote this rather pessimistic judgement: In the Island of Java, we have five mission-centres. They are doing their missionary work exclusively for the Europeans or/and their descendants. The indigenous population in Java is almost entirely Moslem and they do not show the least desire to embrace Christianity. (Mgr Vrancken, ‘Rapport sur la mission de Batavia’, Haarlemsche Bijdragen, 53(1), 1935, cited in Rosariyanto 1997: 190) 8 Van den Elzen to the Provincial, Surabaya, 19 December 1863. 9 Palinckx (n.d.), 7 June 1880. 10 ‘The Javanese are Mahometan but the majority take only of this sect circumcision and polygamy’ (ibid.). 11 Van Lith, ‘De Geschiedenis der Katholieke Java-missie’, manuscript (n.d.a), Archief Nederlandse Provincie Jezuieten (ANPJ), Nijmegen, cited in Rosariyanto (1997: 207). 12 Thus, his first meeting with these ‘statistical Catholics’ for a confession marked him deeply: I sat down on my chair, and they came one after the other. All sat on the kneelong-bench and pronounced the same words: ‘Pater Noster’ and then went away. When I asked a further question, then they repeated ‘Pater Noster’. If I asked ‘Did you lie?’, then some said ‘no’, but mostly repeated ‘Pater Noster’. (van Lith n.d.a: 214) 13 Van Lith (1922b: 6). The original version of this unpublished and undated manuscript can be found in the Archives of the Netherlands Province of the Jesuits in Nijmegen. A typed transcription can be found in the Kolsani library in Yogyakarta. Paginations are from this version. 14 Primarily interested in its cultural and spiritual aspects, van Lith espoused a broader definition of adat than the one adopted by the Dutch Orientalists, particularly van Vollenhoven, in their legal efforts to codify customary law (adatrecht). 15 First mentioned by prophecies ascribed to King Jayabhaya of Kediri, the Ratu Adil (Just King) is a classical messianic figure of Javanese culture. Believed to be at

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18 19 20 21 22 23

24

25 26 27

28 29 30

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first poor and unknown before overcoming Javanese rulers and nobility to establish universal peace and justice, the Ratu Adil figure was frequently mentioned by millenarian movements. The baptismal book which is now kept in the parish of Bara does not coincide with another one kept in Muntilan, in which the baptisms of 14 December are curiously noted after those celebrated on 24 December. See Heyberger and Madinier (forthcoming), especially: Heyberger, ‘Peuples “sans loi, sans foi, ni prêtre”: druzes et nusayrîs de Syrie découverts par les missionnaires catholiques (XVIIe – XVIIIe siècles)’, and Verdeil, ‘Une “révolution sociale dans la montagne”: la conversion des Alaouites par les jésuites dans les années 1930’. This movement was also supported by studies on the ‘Indianization of Java’, which evoked a ‘beneficial Aryan colonization’ that had prefaced that of Batavians and could fortunately oppose ‘the dark ages of Islam’ (Lombard 1990, vol. 3: 12). Van Lith (n.d.c). Van Lith (1915). Van Lith (n.d.b). The history of these schools has been described in a historical novel composed by former Mendut students and edited by a Javanese priest (Mangunwijaya 1993). As Gerry van Klinken noted, ‘Indeed the entire pre-war indigenous Catholic elite was educated [in Muntilan]. Flores, longer Christianized but lacking advanced educational facilities, was not represented in the politics of the metropole until the 1950’s’ (van Klinken 2003: 53). At the turn of the twentieth century, considering that the time had come for the Dutch to pay ‘the debt of honour’ to the Indonesian people, leaders of the Ethical movement promoted reforms in education and agriculture and decentralization in the Indies administration, providing more autonomy for Indonesian officials. He undertook his main writings on the political issues during his journey in the Netherlands between 1921 and 1924. Among them the most important ones were two articles in the Jesuit journal Studiën (Van Lith 1922a). Among others, the ‘family principle’ (kekeluargan) of Ki Hajar Dewantara, or the ‘integralistic state theory’ of Raden Supomo. See Bertrand (2005: 559–71). In 1917, as an effort to give substance to their promise to associate the Indonesian community more closely with government, the Dutch created the People’s Council (Volksraad). Inaugurated in May 1918, it was composed of a mixture of appointed and elected representatives of the three racial divisions defined by the government: Dutch, Indonesian, and ‘foreign Asiatic’. In July 1936, Soetardjo submitted a petition to the Volksraad which called for a conference to arrange Indonesian autonomy within a Dutch-Indonesian union over a period of ten years. To borrow an expression that Yudi Latif uses for a similar Muslim quest (Latif 2008: 7). Thus, in my opinion, this charismatic figure did not completely disappear behind the more ‘routinised memory’ mentioned by van Klinken (1997).

2

The constrained place of local tradition The discourse of Indonesian Traditionalist ulama in the 1930s Andrée Feillard

The passage from Hinduism to Islam in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries is commonly presented in Indonesian chronicles as having been the result of a smooth process, underlining continuity and compatibility rather than rupture and confrontation. This is also the way Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama, relates Java’s Islamization, as expressed in 1957: The Hindu kings at first, it seems, did not see as dangerous the spread of this new religion [Islam] in the areas of their kingdom, something we can judge, among others, from the words of [King] Brawidjaja to Sayid Rachmat and to Sayid Rachman from Campa, as they are reported in the Chronicle (Babad) Pangeran Diponegoro: ‘The aims (maksud) of Islam and Buddhism are equally good, what differ are the rules of ceremonies of these religions. But this does not matter.’ Here we see the wisdom of the preachers (muballigh) in the period of Islam’s coming to Java, who adapted their action to the feelings and the way of life of people. We do not dare to draw the conclusion that it is this tactic which maybe explains why the construction of mosques is adapted to that of Buddhist prayer places, as we can see in the remnants of Kudus today, or in the stories on Islam which made their way into the puppet theatre (wayang), or in the influence of Islam in arts, as in gamelan and others, which seem to have been created intentionally by the nine wali (saints) so that the Hindu rulers might not be too shocked (kaget) at seeing them, and so that the people accept [Islam]. Because of this, until now, the wisdom of these wali is the talk of the people in Java. (Aboebakar 1957: 3–4)1 The ‘wisdom’ of the saints (wali) reputed to have Islamized Java in the sixteenth century was their ability to adapt to the feelings and ways of life of the people. This may have been, Aboebakar suggests, a ‘tactic’ not to frighten the Hindu rulers and their people. This questioning of the wali’s ultimate intention is quite interesting: if such is the case, could today’s ulama not ask how much

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accommodation they should still allow, four centuries later, after Islamization has progressed significantly? Accommodation to local custom and local culture (Ar. ‘adat, ‘urf) is not specific to Indonesia; it can also be found elsewhere in the Muslim world. Adat is considered in Islam a possible source of law, as long as it does not contradict the letter of Islamic law, which itself is interpreted in various ways. The relationship between Islamic law and custom has been a leitmotiv among Muslim and colonial authors.2 In the Dutch East Indies, after a period of disregard for custom and native laws in favour of religious laws (Hindu, Islamic and Christian) in the nineteenth century, a major effort was made in the early twentieth century to give pre-eminence to adat rather than religious law in the colonial system.3 Only Islamic law already acknowledged by local societies was to be applied, a policy which understandably earned the Dutch administration the ire of religious scholars. The more so when the early twentieth century was also a time when the stricter view of the necessity to purge adat (i.e. indigenous festivities, visits, homage, preparation of food, and so on) and adat law (i.e. ‘adats that have legal consequences’, to quote Snouck Hurgronje 1893: 357) of anything ‘un-Islamic’ was gaining momentum with the stronger influence of Reformist schools of thought, especially after the Saud family gained power in Mecca in 1924. Indonesia was not spared the influence of Reformist preachers intent on purifying faith from the remnants of Hindu-Buddhism and pre-Islamic cults, condemned as innovations (bidah) and associationism (association of man to God, shirk). At the same time, the Reformists also proposed abandoning the medieval schools of law (mazhab), mastered by only a few learned scholars (alim, sing., ulama, pl.). As a reaction to attacks on the mazhab, in 1926, the non-Reformist ulama created their own organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU, ‘Renaissance of the Ulama’) (Feillard 1995). One thing, however, is often forgotten: both Reformists and Traditionalists see Islamic law as binding and both hold as ‘blameworthy’ associationism (shirk), i.e. wrongly giving to others than God faculties which only belong to God. Concretely, incense for offerings, Javanese keris, and parts of gamelan, for example, are among the forbidden items found in pre-Islamic rituals. It is the degree of preoccupation and the effort towards purification which vary, the Traditionalists being generally more accommodative than the Reformists to local traditions, in particular toward the saints cult which was partly Islamized (Chambert-Loir and Guillot 1995: 244). In Ricklefs’ words: ‘The NU represents the older santri tradition, with deeper roots in Java’s past and countryside. It is generally more tolerant of traditional Javanese abangan culture’ (Ricklefs 1979: 122). How accommodative the Javanese ulama (kiai) were is difficult to ascertain because of so many variations. Tensions have been described that reveal a complex trilateral relationship between Javanism, Reformist and Traditionalist Islam. Geertz (1960) has shown that pilgrims to Mecca, whose number increased dramatically in the second half of the nineteenth century, after the

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opening of the Suez Canal and the invention of the steamship, introduced a more self-conscious orthodoxy in Java. For the second part of the nineteenth century, Ricklefs writes of tensions between ‘established teachers (kyais)’ ready to accommodate parts of Javanese tradition and ‘the more militant and more anti-European hajis’, which resulted in a growing cleavage between the ‘Islamic puritans’ and the others (Ricklefs 1979: 115; 2007: 243–4).4 He suggests that these two antagonistic groups, the established kiai and more zealous haji, seem to have been absorbed into one category by the middle of the twentieth century (Ricklefs 1979: 121). The prominent historian also notes a decrease in tolerance towards Javanism in the twentieth century, and in particular since independence in 1945.5 The events triggering this decrease, he writes, were mainly the Madiun affair of 1948, the political competition exacerbated by the 1955 elections, and the 1965 communist divide. For the period of the New Order, Hefner has revealed the Nahdlatul Ulama’s strongly oppositional relationship to Javanist Islam in the region of Pasuruan, East Java (Hefner 1987: 533–7; 1990: 197). In the months following September 1965, many Javanists were killed by Muslim youth groups from NU strongholds.6 Guardian spirits (danyan) cults were attacked, pressures increased on Javanists, regarded as heathens, and dakwah (predication) activities focused on countering adat custom, as part of a rather successful Islamization programme with the support of some local authorities (Hefner 1987: 544–6). Later, in the late 1980s, a Traditionalist current of thought emerged, calling for a return to indigenous culture (pribumisasi), arguing in favour of maintaining Javanese rather than Middle Eastern aesthetics. For example, maintaining a Javanese aesthetic in mosque architecture and using the national Indonesian language in day-to-day greetings instead of Arabic, thus countering the so-called trend of ‘Arabization’ (Arabisasi) (Feillard 1995: 200–3, 280). The Reformist-minded Muhammadiyah followed suit in the 1990s, albeit more timidly (Mulkan 2000; Thoyibi et al. 2003; Zakiyuddin and Jinan 2003). Many questions remain as to the relationship between Traditionalist/ orthodox ulama and Javanist tradition before independence, although it seems that Islam had already progressed by then in Javanist areas, to the NU’s advantage (Hefner 1990: 196–7). If indeed there was, as Ricklefs suggests, an ‘absorption’ of established kiai and zealous haji in the mid-1950s, when did this movement start? Can we trace back this growing divide between Traditionalists and Javanists exposed clearly after 1948, 1955 and 1965? This question is essential in comprehending today’s ‘pribumisasi’ current of thought: is it a natural child of NU’s earlier ‘accommodative stance on Javanism’? This chapter sheds some new light on this delicate question by examining the ulama’s stance on local pre-Islamic tradition in the 1930s, in reports in one of Nahdlatul Ulama’s official publications, the bi-monthly Berita Nahdlatoel Oelama (BNO, ‘News of the Nahdlatul Ulama’). Reading the BNO for the period of June 1936 to January 1939, it appears that besides the Reformist movement, the Nahdlatul Ulama also contributed to a normalization of the religious order.

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The first part of the chapter highlights the definition given to religion (agama). Then, encounters between NU representatives and Javanists are related that reveal conflictual and tense situations. The third part analyses discourses on local tradition and adat law as well as the terms under which legitimation of such tradition occur.

Defining religion (agama) in an antagonistic environment A look at the original 1926 statutes of the Nahdlatul Ulama shows no real concern for local tradition, but a very keen consciousness of the need to counter Reformist inroads in Java. Thus, the NU’s stated objectives are to defend the four medieval schools of law (mazhab), to propagate a mazhablinked Islam (menjiarkan Agama Islam diatas madzhab terseboet diatas … , Article 3c), and to develop a network of ulama to better protect this way of understanding Islam. As such, the NU was a missionary organization aimed at spreading non-Reformist Islam. None of NU’s 13 statutes’ articles mentions an objective linked to local culture, either for its preservation or the contrary.7 Ten years later, in 1937, it is clear that the ulama have a very exclusive definition of religion, as can be seen from one article dated June 1937, entitled ‘Why choose Islam!’ (Mengapa pilih Islam!). The term ‘Igama’ (a term used for agama until the 1930s) is applied exclusively to the three monotheistic religions: Islam, Judaism and Christianity (BNO, 1 June 1937, p. 5). Furthermore, this article makes an interesting distinction between, on one side, ‘religions which do not originate from God’ (Igama jg tidak asal dari Toehan) and are no more than ‘teachings’ which come from ‘ancient sages’ (oedjaran2nja orang pintar poerbakala) – ‘Buddhism and others’ are put in this category. Such ‘teachings’ cannot be considered to be agama (jadi sesoenggoehnja boekan Igama). The second group is identified as religions ‘which come from God’ (jg asal dari Toehan) – i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which are based on divine revelation (jg memang asal dari wahjoe Ilahi). The Arabic term for the ‘religions of the Book’ (ahl al Kitab) follows this definition and is re-emphasized: ‘And do not forget that, outside the people of the Book (ahloel kitab), we do not call them Igama.’ But even though Judaism and Christianity enjoy a privileged position as monotheistic religions, Islam still stands out. The writer makes a distinction between ‘ripe’ (mateng) teachings which will never change, including God’s unicity. This is valid for all three Semitic religions, since ‘the belief of Christians in three gods (Drie eenheid gods)’ is contrary to the teaching of Isa (Jesus) as exposed in the gospels (indjil menjeboet2 Satoe). This seems to be a remarkably moderate position compared to later fundamentalist interpretations of trinity as a form of polytheism (e.g. Abujamin 2006). But igama contains changing elements, i.e., the laws (Sjare’at). The reason why they change is that ‘laws have to be suitable for those judged (with the situation)’, while the laws of Musa (Moses) and Isa are outdated (basi). This is clear from

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the fact that Isa modified Musa’s law which allowed repudiation of a wife (Markus X:2–7), while modern trends themselves are now changing Isa’s laws, with the multiplication of divorces in Europe and the USA. As a consequence, Islamic law (Sjare’at Islam) is the only law still valid for the world today. The writer then admits that logically Islam, being more than one thousand years old, is also outdated. However, this is not so, writes the editorialist, because Islam came last (jg penghabisan), an argument often heard also today in Indonesia. The second reason for Islam’s superiority over Judaism and Christianity is its unalterable character: it is meant never to be changed (jg tidak akan diganti2 lagi), it is made for all times and for all places (mentjotjoki boeat tiap2 masa dan tempat). This immutable feature of Islam has implications, continues the BNO, in that Islamic law is proper for all times and all places. This strict definition of agama/igama combined with the idea of ‘ripeness’ converge to make Islam superior to all religions. In stating that Islamic law is valid for all times and all places, it also carries the seed of a strict orthodoxy. No mention is made here of local tradition; it is not even considered. This rigorous orthodoxy in favour of agama and Islamic law finds its political expression in articles very critical of secular nationalists, who are accused not only of disapproving of Islamic law, but also of revisionist perspectives concerning the Archipelago’s past, highlighting the Hindu-Buddhist period rather than the Islamic one. The harsh tone of the BNO articles against secularists is emblematic of a polarization growing within Javanese society between the Islamic educated orthodox Muslims (santri) and the Westerneducated elite (priyayi) of the late nineteenth century, who were rediscovering their pre-Islamic past and the glory of the Hindu-Buddhist empire of Majapahit (Ricklefs 2007: 126–74). This polarization took a political turn in the twentieth century, with the nationalists arguing in favour of a secular (netral agama) state and the santri for an Islamic state. One article well illustrates this relatively new division in Javanese society. Dr Soetomo, one of the early secular nationalists and an orator of the calibre of Sukarno, here is the target of sharp criticism after a trip he made to India. In one article entitled, ‘Gifts brought back by Dr. Soetomo’ (Olèh-olèhnja T. Dr. Soetomo, BNO, 1 May 1937, p. 5), he is blamed for his fascination with Hinduism and for looking too critically at Islam: In India, he glorified all that is Hindu, he described everything Hindu with melodious words, to the point where the reader could not know for sure his religion. This respectable doctor could have attracted them to Hinduism for the melody he was singing about it. On the contrary, Islam was portrayed in the worst ways by Soetomo (ibid.): The melody he sings [about Islam] is like … the sound of Gembreng [a kind of flat knobbled gong] by a drunken man, not only does it hurt the

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ears, but its impact may make people flee away from Islam at a speed of … one million km per second!! The nationalist doctor is also accused of giving the impression that he has ‘a Hindu soul’ (ber-roeh ke Indoe-an). The BNO is further astonished that Soetomo considers Pan-Islamism to be nothing other than a form of imperialism. In other BNO issues, nationalists are mainly blamed for one specific failure: they refuse to give a proper place to Islamic law (sharia) (BNO, 1 July 1936). Secular nationalists are evidently an irritating factor for the Traditionalist ulama. However, judging from the plethora of BNO articles on the subject, the Muslim Reformists seem to be causing Traditionalist ulama the greatest concern. Thus, ten years after the creation of the Nahdlatul Ulama, it is stressed again that the main danger comes from within the Muslim community itself. Kiai Moehsin Blitar addresses the 1936 Banjarmasin NU Congress as follows (BNO, 1 August 1936, p. 32): Danger comes from and in the hands of Muslims themselves, like fishes in the sea, it is not the fisherman who finishes up the fish in the sea, but the fish themselves, they are those who eradicate the fish, each swallowing up the other. The fish eaten here are the old ulama (oelama’2 toea2). Nowhere is it clearly said who the fish eaters are. The terms ‘Modernists’ or ‘Reformists’ are not used, and no single word describes the people who challenge the old ulama in their legitimacy as the guardians of the Faith and the mazhab. In general, few of the anti-Reformist articles specifically mention any Reformist organization. One of them did point at Persis (Persatoean Islam, ‘Islamic Union’) and its leader Ahmad Hasan, but it was only in response to one article in Al-Lisan accusing the BNO’s main writer and the NU’s major intellectual ulama, Mahfoed Siddik, of ‘not being a specialist of religion’ (ahli agama) (BNO, 15 January 1938, p. 7). It is interesting to see that each party claims to be the authentic representative of ‘agama’, the true religion. Moreover, the term ‘agama’ alone stands for Islam: is it because it is self-sufficient or does it stem from a consensus on the terminology, the term agama stressing official legitimacy? Without naming the Reformists, many BNO reports are appeals to be wary of them. The key to understanding the Traditionalist-Modernist divide is clear: the ulama hold rare sacred knowledge, but they are being challenged by the ignorant and hollow Modernists. In one article entitled ‘Al-’Oelama’, carrying the emphasizing subtitle ‘it should be read and re-read’ (haroes dibatja beroelang-oelang), Muslims themselves are accused of striving to separate the Muslim community from ‘the essence and the source’ of its religion, the great and meritorious ulama ( … dari indoek dan soember agamanja, Oelama’ jg loehoer dan berdjasa itoe). The BNO carries numerous complaints about the way the ulama are not given

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their due respect. They are wrongly accused of being old-fashioned (kolot) because they do not want to follow the Zeitgeist of their time (aliran zaman). But the BNO warns that modernity is dangerous, as it will in the end ‘destroy religion’ (igama) (BNO, 15 February 1938). Because the ulama are maltreated, they cannot be the guides of their time as they should, while others take their place who have not acquired the necessary knowledge. The ulama have been ‘hanged’ (gantoeng), whereas ‘people who have just learned how to humidify their face to do the ablutions come up and pretend to discuss very complicated religious matters’. At the very end of the article, the anti-ulama group is named: the ‘Modern’ (si ‘modern’) as opposed to the ‘Old-fashioned’ (si ‘kolot’), the Traditionalist ulama in general. In the 1930s, as far as we can judge from the Berita Nahdlatoel Ulama series, Traditionalist ulama gave little thought to Javanese tradition. Their concern is with secular nationalists, whom they find excessively lenient on Hinduism and hostile to Islamic law (choekoem2 sjare’at Islam). Of great danger to them are also the Muslim Modernists, because they are not knowledgeable enough to guide Indonesians to modernity, and thus will make Islam disappear. The theme of local tradition or custom – whether adat (custom), kejawen (Javanism), danyan (spirits) cults, or pre-Islamic rituals – is almost absent. In reports from the regional branches, however, interesting anecdotes are related that provide insight into ulama’s encounters with local tradition and rituals.

Local tradition: fierce encounters It is a matter of debate even today to assess how much Islam had penetrated into Java’s interior by the early twentieth century. Citing European sources, Ricklefs argues that, in the opening decades of the nineteenth century, Javanese society – both commoners and aristocrats – was relatively unified in terms of its religious identity, which he calls the ‘mystic synthesis’. It is a mystical variant of Islam with three characteristics: ‘a strong commitment to Islamic identity, widespread observation of the five pillars of the faith, and acceptance of local spiritual forces’ (Ricklefs 2007: 11). In his book Polarising Javanese Society, he shows that this apparent unifying religious identity was shattered by Reformist movements, which in turn provoked an anti-Islamic reaction, especially visible in priyayi literary circles. Ricklefs, however, points out that ‘religious controversies of the 19th century did not mean general conflict between a sort of pristine Javaneseness on the one hand and a Muslim identity on the other’. It was rather ‘a conflict between different sorts of Islam, between different kinds of Muslims, among whom the adherents of the mystic synthesis saw themselves as authentically Javanese as well as authentically Muslim’ (ibid.: 46). If indeed this ‘mystic synthesis’ was widespread throughout Java, it had not reached all parts of East Java. Hefner, after fieldwork in the 1970s and 1980s, has shown that the New Order inaugurated a new phase of Islamization in

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Tengger and Pasuruan (Hefner 1985, 1987). The question remains, how much of the interior of Java was Islamized – or de-Islamized? – before independence, given that sources diverge and are fragmentary? The 1930s BNO series prove to be an interesting addition to the available material. Anecdotes show both a society in the process of Islamization and anti-Islamic reactions at village level. The haji and the mystic: competition surrounding burial rituals Two stories highlight the centrality of burial rituals in the competition between Javanists and more orthodox haji. One long narrative is particularly rich in information about the way a dispute was settled, and how a single affair becomes a milestone determining the religious history of a village. The report comes under the rubric ‘News from NU’ (warta N.O.) and is entitled ‘The history of the Soekomoeljo branch’ (Riwajatnja kring Soekomoeljo, BNO, 1 March 1937, pp. 11–12). Soekomoeljo is a village in the Lamongan regency (East Java), situated east of Gresik and Surabaya, home of one of the first Islamizers of Java. The BNO reports: In the early days, before the NO was present, the state of human relations in Soekomoeljo was saddening, there were two Sinoman associations8 whose main act was to boycott people who were disliked because they were not in line with the village people. For example, there was a haji M. who fell under the boycott and the Sinoman members were not allowed to come to him or to invite him, so that when the haji passed away, the head of the Sinoman declared that the members who would go to him were digging their own graves, no one was allowed to prepare the corpse for the burial, there would be a fine of f. 1.50 for that, and the boycott also included men and women, old and young. Who would dare go to the burial, so that the corpse was left to itself! Luckily, Mr. H. Bisri, a newcomer from Lasem, came to help with his aide and performed the burial according to the Muslim rites, with the help of people from other villages. This passage describes the isolation of a haji, who is declared ‘boycotted’ by two Sinoman associations located in an East Javanese village. It is only when the haji dies and his funeral is also boycotted that a counter-reaction comes, in the form of an outsider, a haji, who has to seek help from people from another village. The religious identity of the anti-haji camp is never indicated. This situation triggers in turn new missionary activity from a haji coming from Lasem, indeed an old centre of Islamization in Java. The haji decides that the time is ripe for a thorough Islamization of Soekomoeljo; he organizes sermons (propaganda, nasichat2), in order to ‘bring about a healthy feeling of unity, the spirit of NU’. The Nahdlatul Ulama thus activates its missionary activity in the name of ‘a healthy feeling of unity’, which means the end of

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the anti-NU or anti-haji boycott. The ‘propaganda’ works so well that it soon means the end of Javanism in the village. This in turn provokes a counterreaction by an adept of Javanese mysticism (ilmu kebatinan): In the village of Ranggeh a teacher of mysticism (ilmoe kebatinan) by the name of Eko Madjoe Dewo Satrijo Tanah Djawa had come to develop his mysticism, and there were quite a few villagers who had fallen into his ‘religion’ (‘Igamanja’). Seeing this, Mr. H. Bisri and his friends, Mr. S.T. and p. T. developed Islam and NO so that the Eko followers (The honorable one with a long name) were finished one by one, and there were just a few of them left. The teacher ‘with the long name’ became angry because of the active missionary presentations of the NO, and in the house of one of his adepts, by the name of Yesterday (Kemarin), the teacher … tore apart the Qur’an. This report is obviously sarcastic: the teacher of Javanese mysticism is mockingly called ‘the honorable man with a long name’ (sang pandjang nama). The word ‘religion’ (igama) – appropriate only for Semitic religions – is used, but in quotation marks, different from the report that earlier mentioned ‘his mystical knowledge’ (ilmoenja), this time without quotation marks. Noteworthy is also the derogatory term ‘fallen into’ (terperosok), to describe the villagers’ adoption of Javanese mysticism: they cannot be willing adepts of this ‘ilmoe’. One dramatic event follows: two witnesses report the tearing apart of the Qur’an to Haji Bisri, who forwards the news to the ‘judge and the ulama’, who promise to come at 10 a.m. the following day. They do not show up. Because ‘the heads of religion’ (Kepala Igama, i.e. judge and ulama) do nothing, the plaintiffs seek the help of the Dutch authorities. They go to the district assistant administrator (assisten Wedono), who asks whose property was the Qur’an that was torn up. Since it belonged to the mystic teacher himself, the anti-blasphemy law (UU Siksa Hindia Belanda) does not apply. A bias in favour of the mystic teacher is implied when the BNO comments in parentheses wondering whether nothing would have been done ‘had it been a Bible torn in the hands of a Muslim’. Men’s justice being inefficient, God’s justice intervenes with death: The laws of this country could do nothing against the man with the bad hand gesture (tjelewer) above, but God did not allow this to happen, and three days after the said event, the adept in whose house the Qu’ran was torn up was immediately sent to Hell (dead). And nobody ever heard of the man with the bad gesture, because he never showed up again. The mystic follower, in whose house the Qur’an was torn up, died exactly three days after the incident. No explanation is given about this timely death, except that it was God (Toehan Allah) himself who acted. His law had applied. The subsequent burial also becomes a source of contention, since,

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this time, it is the Muslims who forbid the corpse from being buried in the village cemetery, in a reversal of the earlier haji boycott: The Muslims (S.T. and p. T) who heard the news of the death of the adept went straight to the house of the higher authority (the village head) to ask that his corpse not be buried in the Muslim cemetery. The village head gave in and the inheritors of the corpse were told about it, but they did not care, and they still wanted the corpse to be buried there. Muslims came by the thousands to the cemetery, and there was almost a ‘war’, when a friend of the adept ran to report to the village head, and further to the assistant administrator (Wedono) and the Regent’s deputy (Patih). They all came together with the head of the administration to the cemetery. The Muslims insisted that the corpse be excluded from the Muslim cemetery and that a policeman by the name of Sidin be ousted because he was inciting the group of the mystic. The policeman was discharged, the corpse was moved. The Muslims were satisfied and went back home. This passage shows the presence of two groups equally intent on competing by force if necessary for a ‘Muslim’ cemetery. Does it mean that both the mystic teacher and the haji consider themselves ‘Muslims’, and that they are thus competing for the ‘right’ interpretation of Islam, as described by Ricklefs (1979, 2007)? Another interesting aspect is the way it demonstrates how a few people manage to determine the course of events. The use of collective terms such as the ‘Muslims’ (Moeslimin) and the ‘Muslim community’ (Oemat Islam) give the impression of a united community. The show of force of ‘thousands’ at the cemetery stands in contrast with the village earlier united in the anti-haji boycott. How long it took to achieve this reversal of loyalties is not mentioned. Finally, to complete the process of proper Islamization of Soekomoeljo, a religious school (madrasah) is set up, with a prayer house (langgar) and an ‘authentic’ (toelen) ulama sent from Langitan, a centre of religious learning until today. This narrative of confrontation between Javanism and Islam brought by the haji in a village of East Java is rich with information: Javanese mysticism is clearly not considered a religion (igama), which confirms the strict and exclusive definition given above. The climate of village hostility faced by ulama is high; only the arrival of a haji settles the dispute in favour of orthodox Islam; after trying to resist, local Dutch or Javanese administrators finally give up and rule in favour of the very adamant orthodox haji group. The determining factor seems to be the mysterious death (by God’s or men’s hands is anyone’s guess) of the blasphemer, and then the show of force at the cemetery by ‘thousands’ of Muslims. The Dutch East Indies administration sides with the haji. The key role of burial rituals in the passage from Javanism to more orthodox Islam is apparent in another anecdote. It concerns Greges, a sub-district

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close to Surabaya, also in East Java (BNO, 1 March 1937, pp. 12–13). Here, an old man is reported to have established an ‘opposition group’ (badan oppositie di samping NO) by the name of ‘Death Association’ (Sjarekat Kematian) to face the NU. No details are given concerning the religious affiliation of the old man, except that he belongs to a ‘fanatical current’ (fanatik haloeannja), and that he accepts people from diverse religious backgrounds, that is, ‘Muslims, apostates, practising Muslims, sinners’ (Islam, moertad, tho’at, fasiq boleh masoek). The BNO suggests the writer’s disapproval at the wide influence of the old man over the village (kebanjakan dibawah pengarohnja) as well as his resistance to all kinds of missionary efforts by the ulama. The ending is less violent than in the first case: sermons (nasichat) are addressed to the old man who ‘will not listen’, as he is hard-headed (tambeng, Jav.). When the idea emerges to set up a counter ‘Death Association’, the confident orthodox reject such a response, ‘because Muslims automatically get a burial and it is normal for humans to gather in associations’. Appeasement is sought: the Qur’an indeed has warned that there were people ‘who would not want to listen’. The writer ends up warning that Muslims should be careful in joining associations, and should always opt for one ‘in conformity with the conviction of one’s religion (i’itiqad igamanja) and one’s own interests’. The two cases show the centrality of burial rituals. A similar case was observed by Geertz in 1954, when a Javanese militating for an abangan-linked political party (Permai) encountered a religious official’s (Modin) refusal to perform the Islamic burial ritual for the family unless he abandoned his religious beliefs – insinuating a link to Hinduism but never explicitly so. The Javanese had to recognize in an official and written statement that he was now a true believing Muslim (Geertz 1973b: 153–5). But the two BNO cases above also highlight the difference of attitudes in the case of Javanist resistance: in the first case, blasphemy brings death as punishment, in the second, patience marks the orthodox’s missionary work. A new ‘more moral’ order In a report from West Java, orthodox Islam also faces resistance but presents itself here as bringing a better moral order in a dishonest society under the influence of thieves. This argumentation appears in one 1937 BNO issue carrying the obituary of an ulama from Menes, Banten, West Java, ‘Entol Haji Mohammad Jasin’. It also relates Menes’ process of Islamization (pergerakan agama Islam) (BNO, 15 November 1937, pp. 4–5). Haji Jasin’s father was a famed leader by the name of Entol Wirasaba and lived in Menes when the regency of Tjarigin had its office there. Jasin was educated in a ‘small’ Islamic boarding school (pesantren), then went to Mecca for a few years and had to return home in 1916 because of the First World War. In 1917, H.O.S. Cokroaminoto had set up in Menes a branch of Sarekat Islam, an association with the initial aim of strengthening local businessmen

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against Chinese competition, but which ended up defending nationalist and Islamic interests. There, in Menes, Haji Jasin settled and worked as a missionary. In the space of 20 years, from 1917 to 1937, Jasin and his companions set up 83 religious schools (sekolah Igama) in the region, one in each hamlet (kampoeng) and each village (desa), even as far as Lampung, crossing the Sunda Straits. A ‘department’ (Dept.) was then set up by the name of Matla’oel Anwar, which later became the largest Islamic Traditionalist organization in West Java. Haji Jasin’s amazing pioneer work was necessary, says the report, to re-establish moral order in a society ruled by criminals and thugs (pendjahat dan djagoan) who ‘steal cattle and burn houses’. Here, the person opposing the ulama is not a religious man, but a former scribe (bekas djoeroetoelis). He rules over about 20 villages and lives in a hamlet by the name of Kadoepeureup. There is no description of his religious affiliation. This village would be off limits (tidak boleh orang masoek). The people living there would ‘steal the goats and plunder the houses of the people’ (menjolong kambing membongkar roemah2 orang). Before the ulama came, ‘back then, the police were not as they are today’ (Politie diwaktoe itoe beloem seperti sekarang). Thanks to Haji Jasin, the thugs (djagoan) were eradicated (dibasmi), the inter-village conflicts were put to an end, and attacks on persons (pembatjokan) ceased. The report links social disorder to a lack of religious education, which is made to explain in turn the lack of communal unity and sense of humanity (rasa kebangsaan dan kemanoesiaän). The question remains of what Menes’ religion was before 1917. The only indication is that the old days were the time ‘before the arrival of Sjarikat Islam and before H. Jasin’s deployed efforts with his friends’. No details about the former religion are revealed, except for the presence of a ‘buffalo tooth’ ritual (geraham kerbau), which would be ‘on the way of eradication’, probably condemned as associationism (shirk). This report from Menes shows that West Java’s Islamization in the early twentieth century was far from over: (orthodox) faith propagation was intense and apparently successful from 1917 to 1937, despite fierce resistance. But it is difficult to conclude anything on the religion of Menes before the arrival of Haji Jasin in 1917: did he reform a mystical Islam or did he introduce Islam? The three reports from Soekomoeljo, Greges and Menes suggest that the 1930s were a time of intense Islamization in these parts of East and West Java. This is supported by other reports in the Berita Nahdlatoel Oelama published during this period. For Traditionalist Islam, it was a time of mission in Java, Lampung, and Borneo. Madrasah were being built in villages, missionary work called nasechat2, propaganda, Islamic study groups (pengadjian), and group circumcision of orphans are the means to achieve this goal. As much as Traditionalist Islam organized to propagate its own interpretation of Islam, Reformism also certainly contributed to this renewed activity, having a compelling effect on Traditionalist Islam, which also may

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have turned more intransigent. The mid-1930s were indeed a time of rapprochement between Traditionalists and Reformists who combined in the MIAI (Majlis Islam A’laa Indonesia) in 1937. The second remark is that Traditionalist Islam appears to encounter fierce resistance, and acts at times swiftly against it. In another anecdote, it is related how a popular theatre group (ketoprak) was chased away in Kudus (Central Java) because it had slandered (hina) the Qur’an by making word games (dengan mempermainkan boenjinja). No detail is given. Again, the Regent had been asked to intervene, had complied, and the ‘whole youth of Kudus had been made conscious’ (insjaf) (BNO, 15 April 1937, p. 7). Such hostility is visible again in 1936 when, at the end of the Banjarmasin Nahdlatul Ulama Congress, the BNO proudly reports that its success belies the worst predictions of the local press, which had called the NU Genderoewo, the name of a frightening Javanese giant.9 It is interesting to see that the final arbiter in these religious disputes is the colonial administration, called to the rescue by Traditionalist ulama in support of igama. As we will see presently, rigour also seems the rule on the question of adat (custom): the term appears mostly in a negative light and in opposition to Islamic law.

Discourses on adat, adat law and local tradition In the 16 years when the Nahdlatul Ulama lived under Dutch colonial rule, nationalism flourished within ulama circles: only independence could allow Islam to develop freely, and permit Islamic Law to be applied (Feillard 1995: 28). This ideal found its full expression during the Constitutional debates in 1945, although concessions were finally made to minorities for the sake of unity (ibid.: 37–57). In the 1930s, Islamic law was much debated. The Dutch authorities were starting to put indigenous law first, and the religious element second, reversing the trend of the May 1848 legislation. As van Vollenhoven, a proponent of Adatrecht, and one of its most thorough compilers, explained: [The 1848 formulations] seemed to indicate that adat or adat law of the Indies and the religious laws of the Indies were virtually synonymous, instead of recognizing that indigenous law formed the bulk, and the scraps of religious law merely the incidentals, of adat law. (Holleman 1981: 11) The very issues at stake were mostly those of marriage, divorce, and inheritance, over which there was a real competition between adat and Islamic law.10 The BNO series show a fierce intransigence against adat law, and some degree of accommodation on matters outside questions of personal status and rituals.

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Islamic law against adat: intransigence Most protests appearing in the BNO series concerned the tentative Dutch infringements on the ulama’s prerogative in Islamic education and in personal law for Muslims, who came under the jurisdiction of Islamic courts. Protests arose, for example, against a regulation (Goeroe ordonnantie), which called for the registration of Islamic boarding schools and threatened to close those that were badly organized. Protests also arose against a 1931 ruling that matters of inheritance and pious endowment (waqf) would no longer be decided by Islamic courts in Java and Madura (Lev 1972: 20). The NU also protested against a draft marriage bill suppressing polygamy, a very sensitive subject, as we can see by the number of blasphemy accusations surrounding the issue. NU’s requests were otherwise polite: it asked that women should be separated from men during vaccination campaigns;11 that dogs should be tied in administration offices; that sacrificed animals should not be taxed, a request satisfied by the Dutch authorities (BNO, 1–15 March 1938, p. 37). The NU seemed rather satisfied with the treatment it received from the Dutch: at its Menes Congress in 1938, it declared the Dutch East Indies ‘Dar al Islam’, the land of Islam, an acknowledgement of satisfaction, which it justified by the fact that the Muslim population could apply the sharia, that it was in the hands of Muslim civil servants (Haidar 1994). The NU developed significantly during the 1930s under Dutch rule: it had 68 branches in 1935 and 99 in 1938. Debates concerning the superiority of Islamic law over customary law in the BNO series help us understand the clear rejection of adat. In 1938, the Nahdlatul Ulama decided to send an official protest (Motie) to the colonial government in Batavia,12 the text of which, reproduced in toto in one BNO issue, clearly explains the ulama’s objections. They fear that the civil courts applying Dutch law (choekoem Nederlandshce-Indië) will in reality prioritize adat law to the disadvantage of ‘the people’s religion’s law’ (choekoem agamanja ra’jat). Here are the reasons why the new regulations should be rejected: 1 Adat law in the archipelago is vague and no better or deeper than Islamic law. 2 Adat law is countered by people in many places, ‘such as in Minangkabau’, because it is not modern and is based on mere superstition. 3 The regulation would mean the end of Islamic law, which would be very damaging for Muslims, who object strongly to this. Here, adat law is considered not only to be contrary to Islamic law but even damaging, and in competition with Islamic law. It is assimilated with superstition, which Islam aims to fight indeed. Moreover, Islamic law is presented as the law of the people (agamanja rakjat), which implicitly deprives adat of its older roots in society on the usual argument of Islam being the majority’s religion. The NU appears a staunch defender of Islamic against adat law.

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The same hostile tone is present in another article, where customary law is blamed for justifying immoral behaviour (perboeatan nafsoe masing2) and for limiting the scope of religion (BNO, 5 December 1937, p. 12). Two interesting arguments are further made against adat: it is anti-modern and anti-unity. To prevent the ‘unhealthy spread’ (bersimaharadja-lela) of adat law, cooperation between Islamic organizations is advocated in another article (‘Agama dan Pemerintah’, oleh Mr. Moehamad Amin, BNO, 15 February 1938, p. 10). It is argued that customary law is no longer appropriate ‘for our time’, and thus does not respect the prevailing sense of justice. Paradoxically here, modernity has become an argument in favour of Islamic law, in contradiction to the above argument that modernity meant the end of Islam. Surprisingly, the same author, Moehammad Amin, ends his article with an appeal to secular nationalists to join the struggle in favour of Islamic law for the sake of the country’s unity: Is it not so that the disappearance of various customs prevailing in each of the regions of Indonesia, and their change to rules of religious law which are the same for all indigenous people, will also mean the disappearance of differences and the emergence of religious rules valid for the people? And is unity not a very important factor in the ideals of the nationalists longing to create the unity of our nation? This appeal to use Islamic law as a tool of national unity prefigures the coming debates on the foundation of the Indonesian state, which pitted secularist Sukarno against the pro-sharia Masyumi leader, Mohammad Natsir, in 1940. The Nahdlatul Ulama was to be united with Masyumi on this particular question during the 1940s and 1950s. Here, Islamic law is not antinationalist, on the contrary, it enhances unity. For the NU, which remained close to Sukarno until his deposing in 1965–66, different from the Masyumi, Pan-Islamism was not part of the argument in favour of Islamic law. The NU’s real concern, however, is to bring about an ideal Islamic society. This is the argument of A. Ch. Shiddiq, who explains that Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) should be given an essential place to bring about an ideal Islamic society (‘Riwajat dan Djasa NO’, BNO, 1 January 1939). This is necessary because of the Indonesian Muslims’ imperfect religious practice which he blames on ‘unawareness’: ‘Our friends or the Muslims of Indonesia are not yet 50% aware’ (kawan2 kita ataoe oemmat Islam Indonesia masih beloem 50% kesedarannja), while people are too lazy (malas) to work and apply Islamic decisions. To improve this lagging awareness, the author announces that, from now on, he will change his vocabulary, abandoning the term Islamic ‘decisions’ in favour of Islamic ‘world’ (alam). From now on, the aim is to change society into ‘an Islamic world in everything’ (‘alam islaamijji dalam segala2nja). This Islamic world sounds like a totally new way of life:

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To socialize according to Islam, to buy and sell according to Islam, to marry according to Islam, to trade according to Islam, to cultivate land according to Islam, to have children, to get children married, to have celebrations (selamatan), to have manners, to be polite, to dress, to inherit, to bury, to educate, to rule a household, to salary, to … do everything according to Islam or according to the rules which have been determined by God. This totally Islamic way of life is evocative of the Kaffah (complete) movement born in the 1990s, through which Islamic revivalists tried to Islamize Indonesian ways of life in every single aspect. We notice here a purification effort to Islamize the selamatan celebrations, i.e. communal meals belonging to Islamic tradition (coming from India and Persia), which were accompanied in Java by offerings and prayers of pre-Islamic origins. Hefner (1985: 104–25, 1987, 1990) has shown this traditionalist tendency to ‘purify’ the selamatan of pre-Islamic elements such as offerings to spirits. The reason why selamatan (kenduri) should not be suppressed, according to Shiddiq, is that they are the ‘easy parts’ of religious life, together with the reception of alms; the more difficult parts being ‘predication, alms giving (zakat), prayers, helping the poor, closing shops during Friday prayers’ (BNO, 1 January 1939, p. 78). This perception of Islamic law, which some would call rather ‘literalist’ today, does not, however, reflect the entire spectrum of opinions expressed in the Berita Nahdlatoel Oelama. The NU magazine opened its pages to a variety of opinions, such as this appeal in favour of Islamic law but with limitations (‘Pemimpin III’, BNO, 1 March 1937, p. 3). The author complains of excessive demands from the ulama resulting in worries among the population: ‘There are people who are too loose in extending the scope of Islamic law, until the smallest details (tek-tek bengek) are included in Islamic law, so that people are worried listening to this.’ Again, no information is given as to what these ‘smallest details’ are meant to be, but those pushing for such tight implementation of Islamic law are called the Zâhirites (kaoem zahiri). The Zâhirites were a group following a literalist school of law present in North Africa and Andalusia, today extinct, which adhered to the apparent (zâhir) meaning of the revealed texts. In the article, the solution proposed against such excess is a return to the ‘ancient’ times: ‘Now time has come for us to go back to the way taken by the great ancient ulama, the way which has already led to the golden times!’ This solution of returning to golden times, viewed as accommodative rather than literalist, is a perspective contrary to that of the literalist Wahhabi movement which also claims to return to a golden age – thus the ambiguity of the terms salaf, salafi used differently by Wahhabis, Reformists, Modernists and Traditionalists. No precision is given as to which ‘great ancient ulama’ are meant here: the Muslim theologian Ghazali (died 1111), or the wali sanga, the nine saints reputed to have Islamized Java in the sixteenth century?

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Adat law thus appears to have few defenders among the ulama, although some seem conscious that asking Indonesians to adopt the total Islamic way of life might be counterproductive. These two divergent opinions reflect two currents of thought present in the Nahdlatul Ulama: Wahab Hasbullah, a major initiator of the NU’s emergence in 1926, argued that it was better to issue less strict fatwa because the aim of a law is to be applicable. His successor in 1979, Kiai Bishri held, on the contrary, that fatwa should be strict, since humans have the tendency to ignore laws, and would end up negotiating them anyway (Masyhuri 1983: 62). On which ‘details’ should Indonesians not be bothered is, however, not clear. Later on, inflexibility was shown clearly in family law. The ulama successfully influenced the 1989 Compilation of Islamic Law (Feillard 1995: 294). The question remains of what kind of accommodation for local tradition is permissible and under what terms. The terms of accommodation of pre-Islamic tradition It is clear that Traditionalist ulama were tolerant of many local traditions, and the rare mention of them in the BNO is probably due to the fact that it was an obvious matter.13 Each kiai could decide on matters of etiquette, festivities, visits, homage, the preparation of food, the rice stock, to quote the description of adat for Javanese by van Vollenhoven. In the NU writings, local tradition is refered to as ‘kebudayaan’ (culture), and has maintained its legitimacy under that name. The NU’s congress in Palembang, South Sumatra, in 1952, took two decisions concerning ‘culture’: it would ‘respect’ the cultural life present in each population group and would help develop it ‘as long as this culture does not destroy the morality of society’. It would also increase books, popular literature and knowledge on culture that will elevate morality as well as entertainments ‘appropriate for the time which will bring an improvement in society’ (Aboebakar 1957: 500). One term used to qualify custom in the 1930s series was ‘adat-istiadat’ (customs and traditions). Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) are praised for being places where pupils of various regions gather, they provide ‘a chance to know the various customs (adat-istiadat) of Indonesia’ (‘Menoedjoe ke arah perbaikan Peladjaran Islam, Soerat dari Hedjaz’, oleh Abdoeljalil, BNO, 1 January 1938, p. 10). The question of mystics and the supernatural is more complicated. Here and there, one finds a theological justification for some traditional rituals. Such is the case for a fire swallower, whom more puritan Reformists would have rejected as guilty of ‘associationism’ (shirk) (BNO, 15 April 1937, p. 7). Thus, after marches and Arabic nasyid songs, a Surabaya fire swallower (pentjak api) performs during the second Nahdlatoel Oelama Youth conference in Malang (ANO), 21–24 March 1937. The BNO explains that the fire several times touches the body of the performer (pementjak) but it does not ‘recognize’ the body (tidak kenal) and does not burn, as if it had ‘no memory

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of its capacity to burn’ (‘ta ‘ada ingatan), and when it is swallowed, the ‘fire remains friendly’ (selaloe damai sadja, ta’ soeka membikin soesah pada lain orang). Kiai K.H. Thahir, one of the major ulama present, explains that this phenomenon proves as correct the sayings of theologians (ahli tauchid) in the books (kitab2) that fire does not burn ‘by itself but by the will of Allah’. The reference to tauhid, unicity of God, is a powerful religious justification for the traditional practice. This is in line with the NU’s liking for traditional martial arts, for which it has its own traditional association, Pencak Silat. In 1952, Wahid Hasyim, the son of the NU’s founder Hasyim Asyari, made an important speech in which he tried to explain how much mysticism Islam could acknowledge. Mentioning especially Javanism (ilmu kedjawen), he said Islam, for example, could not recognize the old Javanese habit of praying to God three days and three nights in water. Besides martial arts, medicine is also a domain where the supernatural is well tolerated. Thus, in 1938, a BNO issue carried an advertisement for local ‘supernatural medicine’ (pengobatan gaib) by an ‘occultist’ (in English in the text), by the name of Djoco, who advertised his curing abilities. He cured all kinds of diseases ‘with supernatural powers’ (sanggoep menolong roepa2 penjakit dengan kekoeatan lahir batin), a formula which leaves no doubt about the nature of his competence. Here, the Indonesian term for ‘supranatural power’ (kekoeatan lahir batin) is followed by an explanation in Arabic (BNO, 1–15 March 1938, p. 40). The use of both English and Arabic provides religious and Western legitimacy to the traditional practice. But Islamic symbols seem to be a delicate question when they are being used to serve commercial purposes. Two advertisements, one showing the Ka’bah in Mecca, for an oil (minjak Samin tjap Onta) and the other for a wine (anggoer Serravalio),14 provoked strong reactions: the Islamic Congress (Kongres al Islam) would ask the new permanent Islamic council (MIAI) to keep an eye on these two blasphemy cases. The BNO series seems to imply that accommodation concerned mostly supernatural powers and invincibility rituals. This would be in line with Ricklefs’ descriptions of early Indonesian Islam (Ricklefs 1979: 109–11). Until now, Javanese supernatural power rituals and figures had continued to attract Traditionalist Muslims and even Traditionalist ulama. In 2001, President Abdurrahman Wahid underwent a Javanese ruwetan (exorcism, purification) ceremony to help him rule and stay in power in the very hectic post-Suharto times. And in July 2001, just before his ousting from the presidency, a sacred keris discreetly wrapped in a piece of cloth was laid in the back of his car during a key meeting with major ulama.15 As in the case of the fire swallower, local culture continues to be ‘Islamized’: thus, in the twenty-first century, in Yogyakarta, Kiai Masrul invites Jatilan performing groups (similar to kuda kepang, a trance dance using horse figurines) but gives them an Arabic formula ‘to prevent demons from coming during the trance dance’.16

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At the crossroads between the Western and Arab worlds The 1930s were a period of transition to modernity for Indonesians, and also for the ulama. BNO reports show an interest in religious and political developments in India, Poland, or Saudi Arabia. New habits there are related: men shaving their beards are now condemned to seven days in prison in Saudi Arabia. Comments BNO: ‘From now on, haji arriving here will not only have the sorban, the white cap, but also a real beard’ (BNO, 1 November 1937, p. 15). The 1930s were also a time of modernization for the education system: an NU school following the Dutch curriculum (HIS, Hollandsch-inlandsche scholen, Dutch native schools) is to be opened in Batavia, in August 1938 (BNO, 1–15 March 1938, p. 11). The Situbondo NU branch (East Java) proposes that each madrasah have its own ‘medicijn fonds’ to care for the health of its pupils. This opening up to modernity, however, is accompanied by warnings against its dangers. The West is one of them. One writer warns with undubitable verve against blind following of the West, for which he invents the word ‘baratisme’ (from barat: west). He also warns against superficial secularminded intellectualism, which he calls ‘anginisme’ (from angin: wind), and against ‘kampoenganisme’, or parochialism (from kampoeng: village).17 It is striking, however, that the BNO’s rhetoric itself is not unmodern. When it defends Sufi practices of ascetism (tirakat) against the Modernist critique of an innovation (bidah), a writer argues wittingly that these ancient ascetic practices are healthier than the ‘modern’ practice of smoking (BNO, 1 July 1936, p. 10). This brings us to the question of language used by the Berita Nahdlatoel Oelama, which might give another insight into the cultural trends in the 1930s. Overall, the Indonesian language is used, and Arabic is used as a complement mostly for quotations from the Qu’ran or hadits, or for particular words in a sentence that need to be explained. But Latin script is already considered the medium for publication among ulama and their followers, a development that started in the early twentieth century. The BNO carries publicity for books to learn switching from Pegon (the simplified Arabic script used to write Javanese) to Latin script: this is ‘an important book to fight illiteracy’, says the advertisement (BNO, 1 June 1937, p. 15). Similarly, during a gathering, the secretary of the Ponorogo branch appeals to the NU’s youths (ANO) to go and fight illiteracy, in both ‘Arabic and Latin’. At times, a juxtaposition of Arabic and Dutch terms can be found. Thus, in one article, religious virtues were described as: ‘zelfcontrole (moerabaqah), selfcorrectie (moechasabah), zelfvretrouwen, zelfstandigheid (tawwakal)’ (selfcontrol, self-correction, self-confidence, independence) (BNO, 1 May 1937). But competition does exist between Western and Arabic languages: thus, in 1938, one writer complains that Indonesians love to say ‘Good morning’ and ‘Good night’ in English, and he blames people for being too ‘lazy’ to use the

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greeting ‘Assalamoelaikoem’, while Muslims are called upon to say ‘bismillah’ before each daily act (‘Arti dan Isi Al fatichah’, oleh Aw Hs, BNO, 1 February 1938). When a Javanese word is used, the Indonesian term is given in parenthesis, or vice versa, probably an adaptation of the extension of the Nahdlatul Ulama to the outer islands. The Javanese calendar is mentioned once in a text about the start of Ramadan, in a regional conference in Kroja (Central Java), where it is agreed that the start and the end of Ramadan should fall on certain Javanese days (BNO, 15 December 1937, p. 6). Foreign references include Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Socrates, and Enlightenment philosophers like Rousseau, Voltaire and Darwin. Even French thinkers like Auguste Sabatier are cited on the relationship between science and religion (BNO, 1 April 1938, p. 3). But most are mentioned to make readers conscious of the danger they represent, for ‘they are not religion specialists’ (boekan ahli agama). To respond to apparent anti-Arab feeling in society, the BNO cautions that some Arabs may be guilty of bad behaviour in Indonesia, but the blame should not fall on the whole religion. ‘After all, Indonesians should be grateful to Muhammad that he liberated them from the age of ignorance (Jahiliyya) and from hell’ (BNO, 1 January 1938). The BNO itself is written in a lively style, with sharp comments, audacious when reporting on ideologies and beliefs. Most articles are signed with pseudonyms; many are by the young NU intellectual Mahfud Siddiq. Speeches by NU representatives are at times reported as ‘funny’ (loetjoe), attracting audiences through a sharp sense of humour.

Conclusion Merle Ricklefs has suggested that an ‘absorption’ of established kiai and zealous haji had already taken place in the mid-1950s. And we asked above how far back we could trace this growing divide between Traditionalist ulama and Javanists, which was exposed clearly after 1948, 1955 and 1965. From the analysis of the Berita Nahdlatoel Oelama series of the 1930s studied here, little concern for local tradition appears: it is rather a time of mission, sometimes active against remnants of Hindu-Buddhism and other pre-Islamic traditions. Whatever the resisting villagers can be called – be it Hindu, Javanesemystical or Muslim-Javanese – a key factor in the competition between the two existing religious systems seems to be burial rituals and places, as illustrated by the Soekomoeljo and the Greges cases. Even today, burial rituals are a bone of contention and cases are cited of adepts of Javanism (kejawen) being refused burial in Muslim cemeteries. The ulama oscillate between patience (the Greges case) and implacability when blasphemy occurs (the Soekomoeljo case). Everywhere, the setting up of madrasah and Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) seems to be the first missionary step (Greges, Soekomuljo, Menes), supposed to close anti-Islamic

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protests. A dispute over different religious systems is settled by threats of deployment of force, and the colonial administration gives in (Soekomoeljo). Mission is deemed necessary (Menes). It contributes to a normalization of the religious but also the social order, slowly eliminating the competing old order. This high missionary activity might have been the result of an élan given by Reformism: to counter the anti-mazhab groups, it was more urgent than ever to be first to further Islamize Java. In terms of adat law, the 1930s are a time of frustration for the ulama: whereas the religious courts (raad agama) had so far given Islamic law a predominant place over adat law, this trend was reversed in 1931 in Java and Madura. Maybe the adat law polemic constituted a new stage in the ‘absorption of haji and kiai’ as described by Ricklefs. Accommodation to local culture touches supernatural rituals or powers, for which the ulama/kiai cleverly found theological justifications, as we have seen in the case of the fire swallower. Traditionalist Islam appears here to be both an instrument of Islamization and of a limited defence of local culture. This picture of the 1930s is in line with ethnographic research made in the post-Geertzian period, especially work done by Hefner (1987, 1990). The 1980s pribumisasi current of thought openly advocating acceptance and even the defence of indigenous cultural elements in Islamic practice is thus a natural child of Nahdlatul Ulama, even though it was hampered by fierce resistance from some Traditionalist ulama and also from new Islamic radical groups in the post-Suharto period. As we have seen, already in the 1930s, the NU was crossed by divergent identity currents: some ulama welcomed modernity, Latin script, foreign languages, others did not. In 1945, the Pancasila was chosen with NU approval rather than the Islamic state, but in 1990, Islamic law was confirmed for personal status after a wide ulama consultation. In post-Suharto days, radicals have started to advocate an increased Islamization of the law, against which part of the NU’s young ‘post-traditionalist’ generation is reacting. It is probably this post-traditionalist current that we see emerging in the 1930s, while the more conservative current maintained its influence most visibly after 1998 in the fatwa of the semi-official Council of Ulama (MUI). With Javanism significantly weakened and strict Reformism or scripturalism on the rise, Traditionalist liberal or post-traditionalist intellectuals have naturally become the defenders of remnants of local tradition. But they can do so only within the strict religious (igama) framework that the Nahdlatul Ulama’s missionary and educational work helped to set up during the early twentieth century.

Notes 1 This book is a first attempt at writing the NU’s history, in 1957, in the form of a biography of the first Minister of Religion, Wahid Hasjim, who died in a car accident in 1953. He was also the son of the NU’s founder, Hasjim Asj’ari.

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2 Adat and adat laws have been studied by British and Dutch scholars from the early nineteenth century till the present time, both in the Archipelago and on the Malay Peninsula. For a synthesis of the debate and implications, see Feener (2007). On the controversy of colonial writing on adat laws, see Rahman (2006). 3 According to the receptio in complexu doctrine of L.W.C. van den Berg, ‘the law of the natives (and foreign Orientals) is conditioned by their religion until the contrary is proved, because by accepting a religion they also “virtually” accept its religious law’. For van Vollenhoven, on the contrary, adat law is the ‘law of the natives, with occasional incursions from the religious law’ (Holleman 1981: 20). This theory was reversed by the later theory of reception that said that Islamic law was valid anywhere in Indonesia only to the extent that it had been received by adat law and thus had become adat law (Lev 1972: 197). 4 Ricklefs cautions that this is a ‘rough distinction’, as many haji did not return with such strong fundamentalist spirit and as many of these haji were also kiai (Ricklefs 1979: 115). 5 According to Ricklefs: The mutual tolerance between wong cilik-abangan (literally, ‘small people’, i.e. Javanist villagers) and wong cilik-santri-kolot (literally, ‘old-fashioned’, i.e. Traditionalist Muslims) has very seriously deteriorated. Villages have divided themselves along abangan-santri lines, and the visible signs of membership in either group, such as dress and ritual, have been progressively purified of those elements which seem to belong to the other. (Ricklefs 1979: 122; see also Jay 1963) 6 See, e.g. the case of the ‘Javanese Visnu-Buda religion’ (Agama Buda Visnu Jawi), a local organization promoting a return to what they called Java’s ‘original’ religion at the time of Majapahit (Hefner 1987: 540). 7 ‘NO Statuten, Perkoempoelan Nahdlatoel “Oelama”’, Javasche Courant, 25 February 1930, no. 16. 8 A Sinoman is a village association organizing traditional ceremonies or collective work. 9 The Genderoewo is a frightening giant (hantoe raksasa) of the Javanese mythical world who is supposed to be watching over the sacred tombs (tempat-tempat keramat) (BNO, 1 August 1936, p. 32). 10 Proponents of adat law pointed out that the faraid’l (inheritance) rules of Islam exclude adoptive children from an inheritance portion, which is not the case in Java. Islamic law also prohibits substitution of heirs (the child of a predeceased parent does not inherit the parent’s portion), which is considered unjust in Java. Men and women divide property evenly in ethnic Java, while Islamic inheritance rules give men two portions and one for women (Lev 1972: 20). 11 BNO, 1 August 1936, p. 23: ‘Kaoem iboe disoeroh memboeka koelitnja di moeka chalajak jang ramai’. This was a proposal from the Jember branch of NU, and made a motion at the Banjarmasin NU Congress of 1936, which the government apparently accepted. 12 Pernjataan Mosi ‘N.O. Dipersembahkan kebawah Doeli jang dipertoean Besar Padoeka jang moelja G.G. dari Hinda-Belanda jang terhormat di Batavia, 129, HB Alg Zaken’, no date given, reproduced in the BNO issue of 15 February 1938, p. 6. 13 In one East Java NU regional conference, in Djombang, one speaker from Tasikmalaya, West Java, Soetisoasendjaja, is reported to have explained ‘which customs did not fit with religion’ (mengoepas adat istiadat jg tidak mentjotjoki agama Islam) (BNO, 1–15 March 1938, p. 14). 14 BNO, 15 April 1939, p. 16. Another case of blasphemy in 1937 concerned the book Landen en Volken (BNO, 1 November 1937, p. 7).

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15 The ruwetan ceremony was in Parangtritis (Gatra, 4 April 2001, cited in Ummat menggugat Gus Dur, p. 80). There would even be a video of the ceremony. The sacred (pusaka) keris was Kala Munyeng. The book comments that these ‘syirk’ methods are inefficient since he finally was deposed. 16 Prof. Machasin’s presentation at the EHESS, Paris, 27 March 2008, ‘How Islam Looks at Javanese Tradition’. 17 The article is signed ‘Har.’. Pseudonyms were usual, it may have been Mahfud Shiddiq (BNO, 1–15 March 1938).

3

Where have all the abangan gone? Religionization and the decline of nonstandard Islam in contemporary Indonesia Robert W. Hefner

Over the past half century, Indonesia has witnessed a little-noted but important transformation of its popular religious heritage: the collapse of the nonstandard, syncretic varieties of Islam for which this sprawling Southeast Asian country was once renowned. Two generations ago, there were many such locally oriented Islamic traditions, as well as non-standard modules of ritual and learning embedded within traditions otherwise deemed Islamic. The more prominent of the non-standard traditions were those of the abangan (Jav., lit., ‘red’) in Java,1 the Wetu Telu (Sasak, lit., ‘three times’) in Lombok, the Gumai in South Sumatra, and some Bugis and Makassar circles in South Sulawesi.2 Of these localized varieties of Islam, Java’s abangan was by far the largest and most vigorous. At its peak in the mid-twentieth century, abangan Islam is thought to have embraced some two-thirds of ethnic Javanese, who today number 90 million people.3 By this simple demographic measure, abangan Islam was one of most successful non-standard Islams to have survived into modern times, larger even than Turkey’s Alevis. The Alevis are another group well known for their non-standard profession of the faith, and they are still going strong today (White and Jongerden 2003). The non-standard Islamic traditions in Lombok, southern Sulawesi, South Sumatra, and elsewhere were never as popular or publicly assertive as in Java. Nonetheless, as with the Wetu Telu in north Lombok, in their own locales these traditions often confidently asserted their difference with mainstream variants of Sunni Islam. Outside of Java, however, most of these local traditions did not play as decisive a role in mass politics as the abangan tradition did. In rural Java in the 1950s and early 1960s, the divide between abangan and santri (Jav., lit., ‘a student, at an Islamic boarding school’, colloq., ‘a Muslim observant by the standards of normative Islam’) was ferociously politicized, playing a major role in a centrifugal mobilization that pitted secular nationalists and communists against Muslim parties. Outside of Java, the adherents of non-standard varieties of Islam tended to affiliate with nationalist groupings, including the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI) in the parliamentary era (1950–59), and Golkar during the New Order (1966–98).

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In general, however, the cleavage between orthodox and non-standard Islam in the outer islands was less politically charged than in Java. Notwithstanding the differences among these non-standard Islams, most have in recent years suffered a similar fate. The public religious elements in these traditions – i.e. those practices and representations asserted as legitimate if localized professions of Islam – are either extinct or in severe decline. Today few people dare to claim that these regionally based varieties of Islam are authentic alternatives to the normative standard. Where bits and pieces of the tradition have survived, they have done so only on the condition that they be redefined, not as ‘religion’ (agama) or Islam, but as ‘custom’ (adat) or regional ‘culture’ (kebudayaan). Elements in the tradition that involved publicly ritualized interactions with spirit beings not acknowledged in mainstream Sunnism have been suppressed. The collapse of these older varieties of non-standard Islam, it must be emphasized, does not mean that all Indonesian Muslims are being swept into exactly the same profession of Islam, or that believers are lining up neatly behind one type of political organization. Although the public profession of Islam in Indonesia today is more standardized in accordance with mainstream Sunni models, Muslims still profess their faith in diverse ways. Politically speaking, too, the collapse of abanganism as a non-standard variety of Islam has not led to greater support for Islamist parties advocating the establishment of an Islamic state. Marcus Mietzner has recently spoken of the prevalence of ‘centripetal’ trends in political party competition in postSuharto Indonesia, as opposed to the ‘centrifugal’ instability of the 1950s. Inter-party rivalries during the latter period, Mietzner points out, became so polarized that the main disputes ‘took place at the far ends of the ideological spectrum’. Today, by contrast, and despite the anti-systemic appeals at the Islamist fringe, ‘the vast majority of Indonesians, and Indonesian Muslims, do not favour a change in the political system’ (Mietzner 2008: 433). The present chapter would add to Mietzner’s prescient remarks that, on questions of Islam and public religion too, the parties vying for the political center also differ far less than they did two generations ago. Unlike the 1950s, when some in the PNI supported the efforts of those at the fringe of the abangan community to develop new varieties of Javanese religion (see below), today all major parties subscribe to a normatively standardized Sunni Islam. This chapter illustrates a broader point for the comparative study of religious change in Indonesia and many other parts of the modern world. The native varieties of Islam described in this chapter have been displaced, not just by ‘Islam’, but by an Islam organized in a more standardized, textual, and deterritorialized form as ‘religion’ (agama). From this point of view, the Islamization of non-standard Islam resembles a broader process of religious transformation taking place in other faith communities and in other parts of Southeast Asia, one which we can call ‘religionization’. By religionization, I mean the reconstruction of a local or regional spiritual tradition with reference to religious ideals and practices seen as standardized, textualized, and

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universally incumbent on believers.4 In Indonesia since the New Order period, and in some other parts of Southeast Asia as well, for a spiritual tradition to qualify as a ‘religion’, it must possess several key features: a prophet or founding teacher; a canonical scripture or holy books; standardized rituals and beliefs, knowledge of which is incumbent on all believers; and a clear and consistent differentiation of local custom from universal religion, premised on the idea that the former may not supersede the latter. In the case of Indonesian Islam, these criteria show the unmistakable influence of nineteenth- and twentieth-century movements of Islamic reform. In the late twentieth century, they have also shown the clear hand of the Indonesian Ministry of Religion. Since its establishment in January 1946, the Ministry of Religion has been controlled by mainstream Muslims and has been dedicated to ‘the unification of Islamic affairs throughout Indonesia’ (Salim 2008: 72; see Bowen 1993: 29; Azra and Umam 1998; Kim 1998). In other countries and in other faith traditions inside Indonesia, religionization has reflected diverse influences; there is no single cultural template guiding the process. In India and mainland Southeast Asia, for example, modern Protestantism has had a strong influence on religionized varieties of Hinduism and Buddhism.5 In Indonesia, one should note, it is not just Muslims professing non-standard Islam who have felt the disciplining influence of religionization, but Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians, and Christians as well. In this chapter, then, I examine the reasons for the collapse of the public religious element of abanganism against the backdrop of a rising tide of Islamization and religionization. I will make passing references to non-standard Islams in the outer islands beyond Java, but in keeping with this volume’s focus on Java and Bali, my primary concern here will be abanganism in Java. My account suggests that the religionization of Islam in Indonesia is the result of several influences, both endogenous and exogenous to Islam. The most important of these include nationalization and the displacement of localized economies, societies, and subjectivities by those of a more global cast; growing sharia-mindedness among some in the Muslim community; and the ability of Islamic reformists to outflank their syncretic rivals by creating collaborations with state officials for the purposes of promoting a religionized Islam.

A non-standard Islam Before exploring why abanganism has declined, it is necessary to ask whether the broad family of locally professed Islams in Java shared anything in common other than that they deviated from what had become, by the middle of the twentieth century, the normative standard. Although, as Woodward and Beatty have argued (Woodward 1989; Beatty 1999; see also Hefner 1987), the tradition showed transregional commonalities, abanganism has always varied by region and even village, because the tradition is by its very nature grounded in an intimate articulation of local religion, society, economy, and territory. Answering the question of commonalities is made additionally

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difficult by the fact that abanganism is often viewed by outsiders in a manner that pays little attention to its specifically religious content, other than to define it negatively. In the eyes of many reformist Muslims, the main characteristic of abanganism is that it does not yet conform to the Sunni standard, and as such does not qualify as either ‘Islam’ or ‘religion’ (agama). From a normative Islamic point of view, this characterization is understandable enough. The central message of the Koran and the Sunna of the Prophet is that God provided humankind with a single and universal normative path, embodied in God’s law (the sharia), and this is incumbent upon all believers. If any religious tradition seems ‘preadapted’ for the modern era’s religionization, it is Islam. Although Islam’s unitarian ideal did not prevent the emergence of different Islamic sects, law schools (madhahib), or regional customs (urf, adat; see Vikor 2005; Hallaq 2009), it did provide a normative reference point for movements of religious purification and reform (tajdid) over the broad course of Islamic history. Indeed, one could say, some of the ingredients for Islam’s modern reform and religionization were already in place well before the advent of European colonialism or the postcolonial state. Nonetheless, the scope and incidence of Islam reformism have increased markedly in modern times. Mass education, urbanization, growing social mobility, and new media and modes of consumption, among other things, have weakened the appeal of an Islam defined locally, while enhancing the attraction of an ‘Islam … understood as knowledge and practices detached from any particular place’ (Bowen 1993: 33). In the Indonesian context, the progress of Islamic reform goes back to the early-to-mid nineteenth century. The period saw a steady growth in pilgrimage to Mecca, as well as the spread of new and more sharia-oriented institutions of Islamic learning (see below; and Laffan 2003). In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the reform process accelerated greatly, with the growth of urbanization and the spread of new forms of social organization, education, and communications, including urban Muslims’ growing reliance on print culture. Against these powerful currents, ‘ordinary Muslims’ (Peletz 1997) asserting a right to profess a localized and non-universal variety of Islam have found themselves swimming against a fierce normative tide. A second influence that complicates our efforts to answer the question of whether abanganism and its outer island counterparts share anything in common has more to do with Western academic perceptions. Although the characterization had roots in Dutch times, the post-war scholarship of Clifford and Hildred Geertz and Robert Jay helped to popularize the idea that the abangan were not just inobservant Muslims, but practitioners of völkisch varieties of Hinduism and Buddhism, spiced with a measure of animism and given a light Islamic glaze. This characterization has the notable advantage of underscoring that abanganism was not merely ‘inobservant Islam’, but a tradition of religious knowledge, in Barth’s (1993: 191) sense of this phrase, with its own rituals, cosmology, and customs. However, a half-century on since the Geertzs’ studies, it is clear that saying abanganism was Hindu or Buddhist

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greatly oversimplifies the tradition’s content and genealogy. In particular, the characterization overlooks the powerful influence of popular varieties of Sufism and pantheistic mysticism on abanganism.6 This approach also fails to emphasize a core feature of this non-standard Islam: that its practitioners saw themselves as Muslim, albeit Muslims practicing an ethnicized variety of the faith known as Islam Jawa (‘Javanese Islam’). All this is to say that, in the eyes of most of its adherents, abanganism was a legitimate variety of Islam. In keeping with this conviction, there were several points of intellectual and practical linkage between the Sunni standard and the abangan variety. For example, even at the height of abanganism’s politicization in the 1950s, abangan typically acknowledged the authority of the Koran and Sunna, even though most devoted little time or energy to their study. As Clifford Geertz first observed (1973b), and as more recent studies have confirmed, on certain ritual occasions abangan invited santri Muslims to recite Islamic prayers. As I discuss below, the most important of these were rituals of circumcision, marriage, and death. Not coincidentally, all these happen to be rituals concerned with, not just individual life passage, but declaring that those involved in the rite are Muslim. Of course, alongside these more or less Islamic rituals, the abangan also performed rituals of a less normatively Islamic cast, including a variety of household, village, and curing rites. The prayers used in these rituals typically made reference to Allah and the Prophet Muhammad, but then went on to invoke the presence of spirits of a less Islamic nature. Moreover, the beings addressed were represented, not merely as heavenly actors to the side of Allah (as mainstream Sufis represent their saints), but as free-floating agents who through prayer, offerings, and incense could be drawn for blessed effect (barakah; Ind., berkat) into this world. The two most important categories of spirit beings invoked in this way, and recognized in virtually all abangan communities, were the ancestral and guardian spirits known in Javanese as roh leluhur and roh mbau rekso, respectively. However much abangan cosmologies and beliefs varied by region, this cosmological differentiation of family and guardian spirits was the bedrock distinction around which the entire abangan cosmology was organized. In some abangan communities, a few of the spirits of heaven and earth might have ‘Hindu’ names, but these figures were drawn from Javanese epics and shadow plays, not a formalized tradition of Hindu knowledge. 7 For the most part, then, and notwithstanding the fact that their rituals made regular use of food offerings (sajen, sesaji), the logic of abangan ritual practice was not that of Hinduism but an exuberant pantheism that mixed Sufi saints and spiritual terminology with a variety of Javanese spirits, the core categories of which were ancestral and guardian spirits. In all these regards, abanganism qualified Islam’s strict cosmological dualism by bringing heavenly beings down into the world of the living. On matters of cosmology and doctrine, too, abanganism was additive more than it was exclusive, and theologically nonchalant rather than rigorous.

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There were other practical and organizational differences distinguishing abangan from normatively Islamic communities. Although Wetu Telu villages in Lombok tend to have mosques (although until recently the buildings were not used for congregational worship; see Cederroth 1981), the social histories that I have collected over a 30-year period in some 60 villages in East and Central Java, indicate that most abangan communities dispensed with the institution, indeed quite deliberately. Rather than organizing religious life around mosques as places for religious study and congregational worship, then, the spaces sacralized in abangan communities were those that served as points of passage from the village to a supernatural world seen as, not distant and otherworldly, but accessible from the world of the living. The most important of these spaces was the dhanyang deso (Jav., ‘village place of spirits’), a shrine dedicated to guardian spirits of the same name. In communities located in hilly or upland regions, this shrine was almost always located above the residential center of the village, mountainward, in the direction of the most august guardian spirits. In lowland communities, however, the location might be close to the spring or stream from which the village’s water flowed, or near a grave or physical landmark mythically associated with an ancient spirit being. There was always a gradient to abanganism, ranging from exuberantly pantheistic varieties to those that made an effort to abide by some of the strictures of normative Islam. The gradation influenced the form the cult of dhanyang spirits took in different communities. In abangan communities of a slightly more Islamic cast, the spirits thought to reside at the dhanyang shrine were almost always identified as saint-like ancestors. To suggest otherwise, and thus to identify the resident guardian spirit as non-human, risked exposing one to santri accusations of polytheism or shirk (lit. ‘associationism’, i.e. the association of God with something other than God), a most serious sin in Islam. In more Muslim-minded villages, then, the spirit shrine was typically dedicated to the spirits of the village’s human founders (cikal bakal), usually represented as a male and a female. Sexual duality is another trademark feature of abangan cosmology. In this way, the dhanyang could without too much artifice be assimilated to the status of a Sufi kramat or punden, a burial place for venerating the soul of a deceased Muslim saint. In abangan communities less concerned with symbolic concessions to normative Islam, the dhanyang referenced a spirit world of less visibly Islamic beings. Annual rituals of propitiation and cleansing were commonplace across abangan Java. They were known by different names, including the sedekah desa (‘village alms’) or bersih desa (‘cleansing of the village’). Whatever its precise form, the core component of this village ritual centered on the presentation of food offerings and entertainments to the village’s spirit guardians and human ancestors. The guardians typically included beings like the spirits of the water (dhanyang banyu), the forest (banaspati), the four cardinal directions, and the body (the four ‘sibling’ spirits, the dulor mpat). The ritual involved women bringing food trays to the spirit shrine. At the shrine, and in

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the witnessing presence of village officials, a village elder (wong sepuh) or dhanyang shrine custodian (known innocently enough as the ‘key-keeper’ [juru kunci]) would recite a short Arabic prayer, burn incense, and then recite a prayer in Javanese while presenting the foods to the village’s guardian and ancestral spirits. The invoked spirits consumed the invisible essence (sari) of the food offerings, the physical residue of which, blessed by the spirits’ presence, was then taken home to be shared among members of the family. A smaller version of this same ritual invocation took place prior to major rites of life passage, like those of birth and marriage. For these events, individual families visited the guardian spirit shrine in the company of its key keeper, to announce the upcoming ritual, present food offerings, and appeal for the guardians’ blessing. Even in vigorously abangan communities like these, however, there were several ritual events which downplayed the regnant pantheism and signaled villagers’ identity as Muslims. The most important of these events were funerary rites. When a villager in an abangan community died, his or her fellows did not travel to the dhanyang to announce the death or ask for the blessing of guardian or ancestral spirits. By abangan standards, the passage into the afterlife was a straightforward Islamic affair, and the path was described in exclusively Islamic terms. At the graveside during the deceased’s burial, a villager sufficiently well-versed in Islamic prayer would conduct a small ritual similar to that performed in traditionalist Muslim communities across Indonesia (see Bowen 1993). In particular, after the shrouded corpse was placed in the grave, the celebrant would recite a short catechism for the dead known as the talqin, reminding the deceased of the tenets of the Islamic faith. As was also the case in the ritual accompanying marriage and circumcision, these ritual actions expressed the participants’ identity as Muslim, even if their Islam was one embedded in a world of local spirit guardians and ancestors.

A decentered and generative tradition of knowledge As these last examples show, abangan communities needed a few individuals sufficiently well versed in Islamic prayer so as to officiate at weddings (nikah), circumcisions (sunat), and funerals. However, in staunchly abangan communities like those formerly common across Java’s uplands, orthodox knowledge of this sort was not required for much else. Most communities eschewed any tradition of congregational prayer, Koranic study, or even the Sufi remembering of God’s names (dzikir). In the abangan scheme of things, religious knowledge was ilmu or ‘esoteric knowledge’ (Ar. ‘ilm), the same term as used for the Islamic sciences studied at Islamic religious schools. However, the ilmu in which abangan trafficked was decentered and multifarious in origin, not scripturalist. Abanganism’s doctrinal eclecticism was justified by an origin trope once heard across Java, and which I regularly encountered in villages in East and Central Java in the

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1970s and early 1980s. The narrative explains that the origins (asal) of the world are a divine and continuing process, not something that took place in a fixed moment in the distant past. Inasmuch as genesis continues today, the world still offers glimpses of the divine, often in the most unexpected places. These include spaces like natural landscapes, sources of water, and the human body itself, not least of all in the act of sexual intercourse. All of these are sites for the generation of a non-scripturalist ilmu. Buoyed by this vibrant sense of genealogical wonder, then, abangan were always on the lookout for new signs of the divine presence in the world. Their approach to prayers showed a similar eclecticism, not hesitating to incorporate, on one hand, Koranic verses, passages from tales of the life of the Prophet, and Islamic prayers of supplication (doa), and, on the other hand, ilmu originating in individuals’ dreams, japa-mantra prayers composed in archaic Middle Javanese, and mythic accounts of Java’s founding. Not unlike the Balinese Hindus described in Barth’s portrayal (1993: 191–220), abangan ilmu was unfinished, open, and additive, rather than fixed, exclusive, and scripturalist. In these respects too, abangan knowledge differed in its transmission and authority from santri Islam. Santri Islam was a tradition of organized and authorized learning. For santri, ilmu was grounded on the study of the Koran, traditions of the Prophet, and their associated sciences, including the queen of the Islamic sciences, jurisprudence (fiqh). The school-based nature of santri religious organization had implications for things other than religious knowledge. Santri education provided standards for determining what counted as authentically Islamic, and who was a legitimate religious authority. In this manner, too, santri learning provided criteria for identifying much of abangan tradition as un-Islamic. In its emphasis on publicly recognized religious scholars and scriptural texts, the tradition of religious learning and authority in santri communities resembled that described for the premodern Middle East by scholars like Berkey (1992), Bulliet (1994), Chamberlain (1994), and Gaborieau (1997). These authors have shown that the spread of the madrasah was part of a great ‘recentering and homogenization’ of Islamic knowledge and authority (Berkey 2003: 189). One consequence of this recentering was that jurisprudence (fiqh) came to be regarded as first among the Islamic sciences, and the main subject of study in madrasah. The grounding of religious training on madrasah learning provided social criteria for specifying just who was and who was not a qualified authority on matters of Islam. A religious scholar’s standing in the community depended on his command of a written canon, studied under a recognized master, and demonstrated in textual and oral performance. In this way, the spread of madrasah across the medieval Middle East played a critical role in centering and standardizing religious authority and containing heterodox currents (Hefner 2007). Although they arrived in the region centuries after the first wave of conversion to Islam (first arriving only in the late eighteenth century, and becoming widespread only at the end of the following century; see below), the

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spread of Islamic boarding schools (pondok pesantren) across the islands of Southeast Asia gave rise to a similar effort to discipline local professions of the faith by centering Islam on ulama, religious schools, and canonical texts (Hefner 2009). By contrast, the abangan tradition entailed an entirely different epistemology and religious authority. It was decentered, multivocalic, and relativistic. It was carried in diverse streams of knowledge flowing from varied social sources, not all of which were consistent with scriptural canons. Three additional traits distinguished the abangan ritual tradition from that of mainstream Islam. First, women ritual experts played a far more prominent role in abanganism than in the school-based santri tradition. Women had their own points of access to the divine. They served as curers and midwives, and uttered prayers to God, saints, and guardian spirits when preparing foods for slametan ritual meals. Although the prayer meals (kenduren) associated with most slametan tended to be male-only affairs – and, as such, many specialists of abanganism have mistakenly assumed that women played only a minor role in slametan ritual – the kitchen was itself a space of ritual performance, and it was under the dominion of women (Sullivan 1994: 156–63; Smith 2008). The second quality that distinguished this tradition from school-based santrism was that it sanctioned a more permeable line of demarcation between ‘religion’ and ‘custom’ than allowed in santri Islam. As with circumcision, marriage, and death, abangan used certain rituals to connect to the mainstream tradition and declare themselves Muslim. But they did so while resisting the normative vision that saw ritualized interaction with guardian spirits and ancestors as un-Islamic. They also held to the notion that wayang puppetry, the preparation of offerings, female dancers at spirit shrines, and other aspects of abangan ritual cycles could be ‘religious’. These activities may not have qualified as ‘Islam’ but they were very much part of ‘Islam Jawa’. A third and final feature of abanganism was that it was a religion of place, intimately connected with local society and landscapes. Farmland and water, social relations and the village – all were sacralized through the tradition’s regular engagement with guardian and ancestral spirits. Thematically speaking, abanganism’s core concerns were based on the concept of origins (asal) and the moral principle of the dependence of the living on their human and spiritual predecessors. The well-being of the living depends on their continually acknowledging all that has made them what they are. Again, a few abangan rituals linked the local tradition to the Muslim umat, justifying the claim that the adherents of Islam Jawa were Muslim. But the tradition’s center of gravity lay, not in congregational worship, the pilgrimage to Mecca, or the study of medieval Islamic jurisprudence, but in the performance of rituals that recognized the dependence of the living on the social and natural forces that make the well-being of the living possible. Rather than ‘Hindu’ deities or the presentation of food offerings (sesajen), this preoccupation with genesis and origins, in both a natural and spiritual sense, provided the thematic bridge between Java’s abangan and the ‘Hindu’ traditions of eastern Java and Bali (Hefner 1985).

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The abangan tradition was also locally embedded in an economic way. Abangan ritual festivities tended to be more elaborate, expensive, and locally oriented than those of santri. The largest festivities, especially circumcision and wedding, were among the most expensive consumer items for which a family saved. Villagers accumulated the capital to sponsor such events through a system of ritual savings and loan known as sumbangan (Jav., ‘contributions’). Sumbangan relations were not one-shot gifts. The networks tied individuals to dozens of other people in life-long relationships of ritual savings and exchange, the purpose of which was to finance ritual festivity and nothing else (Hefner 1983; Sullivan 1994: 159–63). As Java underwent far-reaching changes in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the strength of the abangan tradition’s integration into local society also became one of its greatest weaknesses. The ideals of religious and social well-being on which the tradition was based made sense in a world of mutually regarding locals. Over the course of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, however, growing numbers of Javanese became socially mobile and, so to speak, less local. Javanese society as a whole was increasingly enmeshed in transnational networks, including those of Indian Ocean Islam (Freitag and Clarence-Smith 1997; Laffan 2003). In these circumstances, growing numbers of Javanese came to ground their identities on an imagined community more portable and deterritorialized than that of sacred springs, watchful ancestors, and guardian spirits of place.

Abanganism undermined Over the course of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, abanganism faced growing challenges, all of which whittled away at the tradition. The scope and timing of the process varied by region. In the early years of the twentieth century, as social change and Islamic social movements gained momentum, abanganism collapsed in Java’s mobile and commercialized lowlands. Elsewhere, abanganism struck a new balance with a more assertive but still contained santri Islam. In Java’s uplands, the tradition held its own, finally collapsing only in the last decades of the twentieth century. Three challenges proved to be particularly vexing for the abangan tradition: the spread of Islamic boarding schools; the drawing up of santri-abangan tensions into party politics, especially in the 1950s and early 1960s; and statesupported efforts at social and religious ‘building up’ (pembinaan) from the 1970s on. The cumulative effect of these developments was that, by the 1980s, abanganism was in its last gasp. The rise of Islamic schooling Although specialists of Islam in Indonesia once thought that boarding schools for advanced learning in the Islamic sciences had been commonplace since the arrival of Islam in the Archipelago more than a half millennium

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ago, we now know that the network was not securely in place until well into the nineteenth century. Western scholars of Southeast Asian Islam had once thought otherwise, in part because indigenous manuscripts composed for courtly audiences, like the Serat Centhini (written in the early nineteenth century, but based on older materials), make reference to institutions of Islamic learning said to date back to the seventeenth century. An earlier generation of Western scholars took references like these as proof that institutions for Islamic learning were widespread already in the seventeenth century.8 The weight of evidence today, however, indicates that schools for advanced Islamic learning made their first appearance only in the late eighteenth century, and became widespread only in the final decades of the nineteenth century; the institution arrived even later in the outer islands (van Bruinessen 1995; Hefner 2009). Prior to this time, a small number of scholars may have traveled to Arabia for study, but their influence on popular religiosity back in Java remained limited. The spread of schools for advanced Islamic learning was spurred by two developments. The first was the ascendance of reform movements emphasizing the need to purify Islam of un-Islamic innovations, movements originating in Arabia, Egypt, and parts of South Asia. The second influence was the greater ease of travel to the Middle East and in Southeast Asia made possible by the expansion of European colonialism from the late eighteenth century on. By the 1820s, pilgrimage from Singapore and Malaya to Arabia was on the rise; the flow surged after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 (Milner 1995: 159). In 1885, the Dutch scholar and government officer, Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, noted that the Jawa, the term used for Southeast Asian Muslims in Arab lands, were the largest of the holy city’s pilgrim populations (Snouck Hurgronje 1931: 215). Whereas, in its first centuries, Islamization in Southeast Asia had been stimulated by contact with Muslims from India, Arabia, and southern China, from this point on the process was driven by pilgrims returning from Arabia and Egypt. As their numbers grew, the returning pilgrims became the vanguard for the dissemination of a more literate, legalist, and ulama-axised Islam. The pilgrims gave the effort an institutional boost by founding religious boarding schools and, in the early twentieth century, modern-style madrasah (Abdullah 1971; Dhofier 1999; Hefner 2009). Both provided the instruments and personnel for a school-based counter-elite. The timing of the spread of Islamic schools into Java’s hinterland, moreover, proved serendipitous. It took place at the same time that colonial rule, taxation, and forced cultivation were alienating much of the native population from aristocratic elites, many of whom were collaborating with the new European rulers. Growing numbers of mobile Javanese were looking for a religion less bound to place than abanganism, and more capable of responding to the indignity of European rule (Kartodirdjo 1972). The first clear indication that this new religious trend might have serious political implications was the establishment of the Sarekat Islam (SI) in 1911.

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Founded as an Islamic nationalist organization whose initial concern was to protect native businesses from Chinese competition, the organization quickly acquired a political ambition; eventually it even attracted Muslim Marxists to its ranks. In 1921, the organization’s ‘red’ SI members were forced out by Muslim ‘whites’, on the grounds that membership in organizations other than the SI, including the recently established Indonesian Communist Party, was prohibited (Shiraishi 1990: 218–31). As it turned out, the divide between nationalists and socialists, on the one hand, and Muslim parties, on the other, was to remain one of the organizing principles of Indonesian mass politics for more than a half century. The division was also to have momentous consequences for abanganism’s social reproduction. Abanganism nationalized During the first two decades following Indonesia’s 1945 declaration of independence, abanganism underwent a cultural and organizational permutation that, at first, offered the hope that the tradition could be rationalized in a manner responsive to the mobile and deterritorialized realities of post-colonial Indonesia. The key instrument in this initiative was not new styles of religious organization, but political parties. The effort politicized abangan religious identity and set the stage for abanganism’s unhappy clash with santri Islam during 1965–66. During the heyday of parliamentary politics in the 1950s, the main political parties ‘threw themselves into expanding not merely their own memberships but those of affiliated associations of youth, women, students, farmers, workers, intellectuals, and others’; they ‘competed fiercely for influence in every sphere of life and on a round-the-clock basis’ (Anderson 1983: 487). Whereas in the first years of the Republic, national politics had been marked by fluid alliances, the worsening competition created two opposed camps, the one secular nationalist, and the other Islamist. The political process was centrifugal and system-challenging, and there was ‘little acceptance of common fundamentals’ to mediate between the two camps (Feith 1963: 316). Indonesians referred to this linkage of national politics to local religious tensions as aliranisasi, or ‘aliran-ization’. The dominant aliran streams were those of the nationalists and communists, on one hand, and modernist and traditionalist Muslims, on the other. The freighting of local religious cleavages with national ideological burdens destabilized even the most mundane village affairs, as vividly illustrated in Geertz’s (1973b) description of the dispute accompanying the burial of a nominally Islamic man in Pare, East Java, in the 1950s. In the mixed santri and Javanist villages in East Java where I did research in the late 1970s and mid-1980s, elderly abangan nationalists recounted that in the 1950s they stopped going to the mosque entirely, because prayer services had been taken over by their rivals in the Nahdlatul Ulama (Hefner 1987). Conversely, many pious Muslims came to view their Javanist neighbors as infidels. The growing polarization slowed and, in a few

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areas, even reversed the progress of Islamization, which had been on the ascent with the spread of Islamic schools and learning since the late nineteenth century. More startling, the politicization of religious divides emboldened a small fringe in the abangan community to break with the tradition of their forebears and declare themselves to be proponents of new faiths, many of which came to be known as mystical cults of ‘interiority’ or kebatinan (Stange 1980; Geels 1997). Many of these new religious movements had first appeared on the scene a few years earlier, in the turbulent decade of the 1920s (Shiraishi 1990). The typical pattern was that their founders proclaimed that they had been blessed with prophetic revelations and wondrous spiritual powers. Although some among these prophets were from rural backgrounds, the majority were recruited from the ranks of urban teachers, the middle class, and the arts community. In the decade prior to Indonesia’s declaration of independence, most of these new Javanese religions attracted only a few hundred devotees. In the politicized circumstances of the 1950s, however, many of the new religions experienced rapid growth (Hefner 1987). The groups that did best were those that adopted some of the trademark features of religionization. That is, they formalized their leadership, catechism-ized their teachings, standardized their rituals, and composed holy books. There was a political side to these changes as well. Some of the largest groups also benefited from the support that they received from syncretic Muslims affiliated with the Indonesian Nationalist Party. In the 1950s, the PNI had some pious Muslims in its ranks, and from time to time the party attempted to expand its support in the santri community. However, party officials in several districts – including all five of the districts in which I have worked over the years, Pasuruan and Malang in East Java, Yogyakarta city, Gunung Kidul, and Klaten in south-central Java – lent their support to the efforts of leaders in the new Javanese religious movements. Many at first threw themselves into the campaign to win state recognition for these religions, an effort successfully opposed by Muslim parties. A few officials went further, providing the religious movements with funding, printing presses, and organizational guidance. In effect, the officials were lending a hand to massbased movements for apostasy from Islam. The new religions’ names made this intention clear: they included the ‘Religion of Majapahit’; the ‘Javanese Buddha-Vishnu Religion’; the ‘religion of sacred origins’; and the ‘FourFivers’ (so-named for its Tantric concern with the body and its four guardian spirits). Never in Indonesian history had there been such a public movement for diversion from Islam. Not all of the kebatinan groups presented themselves as apostates from Islam. Some claimed to be mystical disciplines open to people from all religious backgrounds, including Muslims. But Muslim parties regarded even these latter groups with deep suspicion. In 1955, several dozen kebatinan groups united to create the ‘Congressional Body for Indonesian Kebatinan’ (Badan Kongres Kebatinan Indonesia). One of the group’s first acts was to

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petition the government to recognize kebatinan as a religious tradition in its own right. Muslims in the Ministry of Religion, however, succeeded in blocking the effort. They pointed to the fact that already in 1952 the Ministry had issued regulations stipulating that to qualify as a ‘religion’ (agama) a faith tradition had to possess a Holy Book, prophets, standardized teachings, and some degree of global recognition. In 1959, the Ministry issued a statement which added another Islamic criterion to the Ministry’s definition: any faith seeking recognition as a religion had to possess ‘revelation from God’ (wahyu Allah; see Kim 1998: 363). Kebatinan groups and some officials in the Ministry of Interior rejected the Ministry of Religion’s definition, but in years to come it was to provide an important precedent for restrictions on new Javanese religions. In the final years of the Sukarno era, then, most of the abangan community had been drawn into a raging political storm. A small number of abangan – in retrospect, a tiny percentage, but at the time their numbers looked greater – responded to the crisis by renouncing Islam entirely, and declaring themselves devotees of new Javanese religions. The intensity of religious passion, and the perception in santri circles that some abangan had declared war on Islam, contributed to the intensity of the violence that swept Java in late 1965 and early 1966, in the aftermath of a failed left-wing officers’ coup in Jakarta. Most of the killing targeted people who were alleged to be communists. Whatever their ideological predilection, however, most of the victims in Java were from abangan backgrounds (Cribb 1990). In the months following the 1965–66 killings, Suharto and his supporters consolidated their grip on power. The New Order government (1966–98) came to be known for its far more interventionist policies with regard to religious affairs than had been typical of the Sukarno government. However, as this short history reveals, the regime did not engage in religious manipulation where previously there were none. What was distinctive about the New Order’s politicization of religion was that it replaced the societally based processes of aliran competition with centralized state control. Contrary to the regime’s initial intentions, the new arrangement was to prove no less volatile than the old, and its effect was to accelerate the decline of abangan Islam.

‘Building up’ as religionization The program that best illustrates the devastating effects of New Order policies on abanganism was the regime’s famed efforts at ‘building up’ (pembinaan) religion. Initially aimed at former strongholds of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), the building-up program was soon extended to Wetu Telu villages in Lombok and the thinly populated interior forest regions in Indonesia’s larger islands where dispersed populations practiced transhumant or swidden agriculture.9 It is the initiative’s effect on abangan culture with which I am concerned here.

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Coordinated jointly by the Ministries of Religion and of the Interior, the pembinaan program in Java was intended, first of all, to root out communist ideology and replace it with a vigorously anti-communist understanding of the country’s Constitution, as well as the official state philosophy – the Pancasila. Although some secular supporters of the New Order government at first opposed the policy, the pembinaan program was premised on a new and thoroughly religionized interpretation of these doctrines. When Sukarno had first presented the Pancasila to the Indonesian public on 1 June 1945, its fifth principle had been Ketuhanan, or belief in God. On 18 August 1945, one day after the Indonesian declaration of independence, the fifth principle of the Pancasila was made the first; it was also amended from ‘Belief in God’ to ‘Belief in the One and Only God’ (Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa). The adjustment was made as a concession to Muslim groups, who had been angered by nationalist politicians’ removal of a clause from the preamble to the declaration of independence stating that the state was to implement Islamic law (sharia) for its Muslim citizens. Article 29 of the 1945 Indonesian Constitution formalized the same principle, declaring that ‘The State is based on belief in the One and Only God’. Neither the Pancasila nor Article 29 provided any guidance on just which among Indonesia’s religions were consistent with the principle of belief in the One and Only God. Nor did either document clarify how the government was to intervene in the religious field to make such a determination. The result was that, officially speaking, there was a high degree of religious freedom during the Old Order: ‘Religious relativism and national unity pervaded the political arena of the Old Order, providing an environment where religious freedom defined in its widest sense could be applied’ (Kim 1998: 362). All this changed under the New Order government’s policy of religious building up. The government now stipulated that the proper interpretation of Article 29 of the Constitution was that every citizen had to profess one of the state-recognized religions, and only five – Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, and Buddhism (the latter given ‘monotheistic’ twists) – qualified for that status. This new interpretation represented a serious curtailment of the religious freedoms enjoyed in the early years of the republic. The new policy had powerful institutional entailments as well. By 1973, programs were in place to make sure that all school children received two hours of instruction in religion, its content standardized by the Ministry of Religion. Children from families not professing a recognized religion were obliged to choose one. Through this new policy, abangan children who continued to identify as Muslim came to be educated according to a normative Islamic standard. That standard left no room for Islam Jawa. In keeping with the new emphasis on building up religion, government officials allowed non-Islamic missionaries to proselytize in some Javanese villages. Small numbers of Hindu proselytizers were allowed into abangan communities in East and Central Java that indicated they wanted to become Hindu, rather than remain Muslim or convert to Christianity. In these early

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years, however, the government gave greater access to Christian missionaries. In the 1940s and 1950s, the administration of the Christian churches once under the control of European ministers had been transferred to Indonesians (van Akkeren 1969). The transfer had given an unexpected boost to Christian missionization, and allowed for the implanting of a mission infrastructure in abangan areas just before the bloodshed of 1965–66 (Hefner 1993). Between 1966 and 1976, almost two million ethnic Javanese, most from abangan Islamic backgrounds, converted to Christianity. Another 250,000 to 400,000 became Hindu (Lyon 1977; Hefner 2004). Notwithstanding the government’s initial intentions, the terms of its deal with Christian missionaries did not last long. As Indonesia experienced the early phases of the Islamic resurgence, in 1978, the government issued two decrees (No. 70 and 77/1978) imposing strict limitations on Christian missionaries. When, in the mid-1990s, Suharto began his celebrated outreach to ultraconservative Islamists in the Indonesian Council for Islamic Predication (Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia, DDII), government policies shifted even more drastically, allowing conservative Muslim preachers into regions converted a few years earlier to Christianity or Hinduism (Hefner 2000).10 However complicated the religious landscape in the late 1960s, on religious as opposed to political matters New Order campaigns eventually played to the favor of non-abangan Muslims. In the Pasuruan and Malang districts in East Java, where I worked in the 1970s and 1980s (Hefner 1987), for example, villages that had been strongholds of abanganism a few years earlier found themselves the beneficiaries of unexpected and unrequested New Order largesse. Their communities were flooded with funds for mosque building and religious education, as well as with squadrons of young modernist students enlisted by the Ministry of Religion to educate the local populace in proper worship and dress.11 Research by Bambang Pranowo in Yogyakarta, and my own research on two districts of 15 villages each in Bantul (south Yogyakarta) and the Wonosari region in Gunung Kidul indicated that a similar process unfolded in those central Javanese districts. The details of religious change in each of these regions vary, but the general pattern is the same. In a 12-village district in upland Pasuruan where I had carried out ethnohistorical research in the late 1970s, for example, every community in the early 1960s had celebrated an annual ritual of village purification (known in this region as a sedekah dusun) at a dhanyang spirit shrine. By 1985, not one of these guardian spirit festivals was still celebrated, and in all but two villages the dhanyang had been physically demolished. A similar pattern had taken place in districts east of the city of Malang in East Java, where I carried out ethnohistorical research during these same years. Of some ten abangan communities that had celebrated guardian spirit festivals in the early 1960s, not one did by the 1980s. Although earlier, in the late 1970s, I had wondered whether this pattern of deabanganization was peculiar to East Java (whose provincial administration had a reputation for being religiously observant; see Labrousse and Soemargono

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1985), research that I coordinated with student teams from Gadjah Mada University in 1980, 1985, and 1999, revealed a similar pattern. In two districts made up of some 30 villages in Bantul and Gunung Kidul (both in the special region of Yogyakarta) – areas long regarded as abangan strongholds, and in which all communities had celebrated dhanyang festivities in the early 1960s – only one community in each region still celebrated the annual rite to village ancestors and spirits. Equally revealing, the festival in the two surviving communities had been changed in two fundamental ways. First, participation in the festival had been made optional for all villagers – with the result that the numbers of villagers participating in the presentation of offerings had dwindled to less than 20 per cent of the village population, almost all of whom were elderly. In one of these two villages, too, the village chief declined to participate in the event, delegating his role to a local man of far lesser social standing. Second, the prayer component of the ritual had been Islamized. Rather than a Javanese prayer invoking ancestors and guardian spirits, the festival opened with a conventional Islamic prayer of supplication (doa). Similarly, the foods brought to the events were now said to be for the purposes of a communal meal, not offerings for guardian spirits. In effect, what had once been a dhanyang ritual no longer had anything to do with dhanyang spirits. The rite had been reconstructed as a more-or-less Islamic event, with a little Javanese coloring. One needs to treat such findings with caution, of course. Java is a big island, and almost 90 million ethnic Javanese reside on it. There are studies indicating that, in some regions, Javanese spirit rituals – such as the celebrated labuhan that takes place at the seashore south of Yogyakarta, and which involves the presentation of offerings to the goddess of the southern ocean, Nyai Ratu Kidul – continue. However, where scholars have done ethnographic histories on abanganism across whole districts or regions, rather than looking at isolated ritual events, the conclusions are similar to those reached here (see Hefner 1987; Pranowo 1992; Kim 1996). The cult of village guardians and ancestors that lay at the heart of rural abanganism has today been diminished or collapsed. Although the change may not be quite as far-reaching, personal identification with abangan tradition also appears to have declined drastically. Although the results need to be read with caution, national surveys like those conducted by the Indonesian Survey Institute (Lembaga Survei Indonesia) suggest that only a tiny percentage of ethnic Javanese engage in ritual activities prototypically identified with abanganism (Mujani and Liddle 2007). Conversely, the percentage that profess adherence to a more or less normative profession of Islam has skyrocketed. There is of course a great potential for bias in such self-reporting. Pervasive displays of Islamic piety in contemporary Indonesia may make people of abangan persuasion hesitant to state their views. But this fact is itself a telling cultural reality. Had such polling been conducted two generations ago, one can with confidence say that the results would not have seen abangan supporters running for cover.

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In terms of public religious organization, if not party politics, then, the big losers under the New Order were not santri, but abangan Muslims. Although in the early years of the New Order many observers noted that ‘Suharto and the generals on whom he relies were brought up in a Hindu-Javanized milieu that made them more nominal (abangan) than practicing (santri) Muslims’ (Emmerson 1978: 96), the government – whatever its leaders’ intentions – set in motion changes that undercut what remained of abangan religious institutions. The children of abangan villagers were subjected to government-mandated religious education. A generation of Javanese youth came of age who found rituals of obeisance to ancestral and guardian spirits quaintly obsolete, if not religiously repugnant. The institutions that once allowed abanganism to operate as a public alternative to normative Islam have all but collapsed. More surprising, few among the current generation of Javanese youth seem to care.

Conclusion I conclude this chapter with four summary observations as to what the decline of abanganism as a religious phenomenon implies for contemporary Indonesia. The first and most obvious lesson has to do with the fact that, unlike the Alevis in Turkey to which they might be compared, the abangan have not been able to reproduce themselves as a public variety of Islam. This suggests that the recent progress of Islamization in Indonesia has been significantly more far-reaching – and more standardized according to the religionization model – than in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and other regions where syncretic professions of Islam survive to this day. One would hasten to add that in this regard more Muslim-majority countries resemble Indonesia than they do Turkey, in the sense that the progress of a Sunni Islamization has been comparably far-reaching (Kehl-Bodrogi et al. 1997; Brenner 2001). My second observation concerns the implications of the abangan religious collapse for politics. Although the term has become a catch-all phrase for casual, secular, or inobservant Muslims, throughout this chapter I have tried to distinguish abanganism as a religious phenomenon from the political associations and contests with which the term has come to be associated in social science scholarship on Java. As a religious tradition, abanganism was not just a matter of being a ‘bad Muslim’; the tradition had rituals, a cosmology, and traditions of knowledge profoundly different from santri Islam. Today, the powers and authorities involved in the social reproduction of this non-standard Islam have gone. Interestingly, however, the shift from abanganism to normative varieties of Sunni Islam has not translated into the parallel extinction of the political tension earlier associated with the santri–abangan divide. This may seem paradoxical, inasmuch as the two terms have come to refer to social categories based on religion, or, ‘deeply politicized rival religious communities,’ as Edward Aspinall (2005: 149) has so aptly put it. However, although abangan religious observance has been pressed into a normative form closer to the

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santri standard, the situation in the political sphere is more complex. On one hand, the campaigns accompanying the national elections in 1999, 2004, and 2009 have all been marked by ‘the slow but steady Islamization of political life’ (ibid.: 151). Golkar, the Democratic Party, and even the PDIP have all adopted what would have once been regarded as Islamic styles of political expression, including the use of Arabic greetings and the recitation of Islamic prayers at party rallies, and regular visits by party officials to prominent ulama and Islamic boarding schools. At the same time, however, electoral competition appears to be ‘pushing the major Islamic political forces toward the middle ground’ (ibid.). Ostensibly Islamist parties like the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) have found themselves highlighting non-religious themes like the importance of clean government and social services rather than the implementation of Islamic law. From this perspective, Marcus Mietzner’s observations on the prevalence of ‘centripetal’ trends in political party competition today, as opposed to the ‘centrifugal’ instability of the 1950s, seem accurate. By contrast with the polarized and the anti-systemic politics of the 1950s, ‘the vast majority of Indonesians, and Indonesian Muslims, do not favour a change in the political system’ (Mietzner 2008: 433). In other words, just as the abangan have changed their political behaviours, the mainstream santri organizations have as well. Most have repudiated any ambition of establishing an Islamic state, even while holding to the idea that Islam should play an important public-ethical role in education, politics, and society. Meanwhile, on matters of state and cultural politics, ‘most parties are … engaged in a fight for the middle ground’ (Ufen 2008: 28). My third observation looks in a different direction, toward the cultural organization of the now greatly expanded community of Indonesian Muslims intent on a mainstream profession of their faith. The triumph of normative Sunnism in Indonesia, and the slackening of the divide that once pitted santri against abangan, have meant that the community of observant Muslims today includes people from a diverse array of social backgrounds. The fact that most of these believers subscribe to a more-or-less ‘religionized’ profession of their faith does not mean that their cultural preferences or lifestyle comportments are the same. To put the matter differently, although more Indonesian Muslims than ever adhere to mainline varieties of normative Islam, the religious life in which they participate remains extraordinarily pluralistic – a point nicely illustrated in a recent volume edited by Fealy and White (2008; see also Howell 2001). The fourth and final lesson from these recent developments is more cautionary. It is that the combination of normative Islamic hegemony, continuing pluralism within the Muslim community, and a well-established precedent for state involvement in religious affairs continues to encourage some in the conservative wing of the Muslim community to press for even greater restrictions on religious expression. This disposition has been dramatically illustrated in recent statements by the Council of Indonesian Ulama (MUI), as

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well as authorities in Aceh and several districts, aimed at suppressing what they regard as ‘deviationist’ currents in Indonesian Islam, including ‘liberal Islam’ (Gillespie 2007). The continuing attacks of hardline Islamist militias on minority sects like the Ahmadiyah – against which, shockingly, the government has taken few measures – provide another example of militant efforts to suppress intra-Muslim religious pluralism (ICG 2008). Despite these worrisome currents of religious intolerance, by the standards of the modern Sunni world, Indonesia remains an astonishingly pluralistic place. Conservative Muslim activists will likely continue to be unhappy with this; some will attempt to press believers into a single mold. The best of the new generation of Islamic thinkers and politicians, however, has a different perspective on the diversity of the Indonesian umat. Especially in Islamic higher education (Barton 1995; Saeed 1999; Hefner 2009), there is an ongoing effort to develop an Islamic framework for engaging the reality of Indonesia’s pluralism. Some appear convinced that the diversity of Indonesian Islam may in fact be a blessing – for Islam, and for Indonesia’s democratic future. Whether in fact this proves to be the case will depend in part on whether this positive view of Muslim diversity prevails, or is pushed aside by those intent on using the state to coerce conformity to a single religious standard.

Notes 1 The abangan (‘red’) social category is generally understood in binary opposition to the putihan (‘whites’), or the people of religion, i.e. those who adhere to normative Islam. In an important study, Ricklefs identifies the abangan as ‘a category of people who were defined by their failure – in the eyes of the more pious – to behave as proper Muslims’; he also suggests the abangan-putihan rivalry really only dates from the nineteenth century (Ricklefs 2007: 84). Prior to this time, he suggests, no such division existed, because most Javanese identified with a court-generated ‘mystic synthesis’ premised on three cultural qualities: the identification of all Javanese as Muslims; a commitment to the five pillars of Islam; and acceptance of an ‘array of local spiritual forces’ (ibid.: 6). Although the abangan–santri divide almost certainly acquired a more politicized intensity in the nineteenth century, the assumption that prior to that time a mystical synthesis predominated among the populace projects a too homogeneous and court-centric view on Javanese popular traditions. As the evidence of twentieth-century ethnography bears witness, popular religious culture, especially that identified with the abangan, displayed a far greater measure of regional variation and theological eclecticism than the mystic-synthesis thesis implies. 2 On the Wetu Telu, see Cederroth (1981, 1996); on the Gumai, see Sakai (1999); on the Bugis, see Pelras (1996) and Errington (1989). 3 The classical account of abanganism is Clifford Geertz (1960, 1965). For a critique of Geertz’s model, see Ricklefs (2007) and Woodward (1989); for an ethnographic description of the abangan tradition in the Banyuwangi region of eastern Java, see Beatty (1999). 4 Sven Cederroth’s (1996) discussion of agamaisasi is similar to my discussion here. Although the term religionization is used in religious studies as the conceptual opposite of secularization, the usage to which I refer here has as much to do with the disciplining effects of certain types of rationalized religion.

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5 See, e.g., on Buddhism, Gombrich and Obeyesekere (1988: 202–40); on Hinduism, van der Veer (1994). 6 A point nicely emphasized in Woodward (1989: 3–6), and, from a different analytic perspective, Ricklefs (1998). 7 This same style of cosmological eclecticism was also characteristic of the ritual prayers recited in syncretic Buginese circles in South Sulawesi (Pelras 1996). 8 For the earlier dating, see Drewes (1969: 11); for a critical update, see van Bruinessen (1995). 9 On the uses of ‘building up’ programs in Indonesia’s outer islands, see Sellato (1989), and Tsing (1993: 93). 10 On the New Order’s early agreements with Western missionaries to build up remote regions, see Aragon (2000); on the DDII’s alliance with Suharto, see Hefner (2000: 106–13). 11 My understanding on the early impact of pembinaan is based in part on my own research in East Java in the 1970s and 1980s, and in the Yogyakarta region in 1979 and 1999–2008. My East Java field assistant, S. Sutrisno WG, a Muhammadiyah teacher and a former activist with the Muslim Students Association (Himpunan Mahasiswa Indonesia), had led one such pembinaan team around Pare in East Java during 1967–69, and he provided me with intimate accounts of the process.

4

The return of Pancasila Secular vs. Islamic norms, another look at the struggle for state dominance in Indonesia François Raillon

At a time when the media scene is profusely reverberating Islamic grievances, radical protests and spectacular demonstrations, one cannot but notice a countervailing view increasingly brought to the fore by its advocates: that of a secular state, promoted in a less vocal but nonetheless significant manner by dissenting parties. As a response to advances made by pro-sharia activists, a newly founded coalition of civil society supporters, bearers of Javanese culture, and liberal-minded politicians have joined forces to restore the ideological power of Pancasila. The five-principle state ideology, which for a while had been rejected as a result of its use and misuse by General Suharto, has come back into favour among intellectuals and opinion leaders in various quarters. It is now being heralded again as a source of religious tolerance originating in Javanese syncretism as opposed to those who mean to ‘import’ and impose a moral and political order based on a scripturalist vision of Islam. The free atmosphere of Reformasi since 1998 has allowed a healthy ideological debate that provides a convenient corpus of arguments ready-made for the political analyst. Using such material, this chapter attempts to describe significant episodes of the protracted war of attrition waged by the various parties; it means to document and assess the direction taken by Indonesia’s state and society in the religious field, and consider whether ‘religions’ can shift from the public domain to the private sphere, or in other words, be somewhat separated from the state. The emphasis here is placed on the secular, pro-Pancasila, side, as contrasted to the more visible Islamic stance on where and how the state should position itself. So far, secularists have not received sufficient attention from observers despite their strenuous resistance to the various encroachments made by Islamists. Their voices have been toned down by the noisy posturing of Muslim radicals both inside and outside Indonesia. The very excesses of Islamic hardliners have helped produce and stimulate an increasingly vigorous response from opponents to Islamism. This response is primarily dealt with in the following pages.1 In order to construct a clear picture of the complex circumstances and vicissitudes of the ongoing battle for the control of the state, the opposing

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views and moves of both sides are categorized and presented in two main parts. The first sheds light on the assault on Pancasila led since its inception by those who want the state to be an energetic dispenser and enforcer of religious norms. By contrast, the second part dwells more extensively on the protective or proactive responses made by the advocates of the five principles in support of Pancasila, by those who insist on the state remaining a neutral guardian of republican, more secular values.

The assault on Pancasila The advent of the Reformasi era since 1998 has been associated with a process of ‘de-Javanizing’ Indonesian politics. In so far as ‘New Order politics was Javanese politics, closed and centralist’ (Politik Orde Baru adalah politik Jawa, yang tertutup dan sentralistik), post-Suharto politics experienced an anti-Javanese backlash (gejala anti Jawa).2 Suharto was seen as a quintessential Javanese general, his politics was felt to be deeply influenced by culture – Javanese culture at that, in a rather essentialist way of looking at it. The epitome of ‘Javanese politics’ was the state ideology or Pancasila as instrumentalized by Suharto, but also, first and foremost, as enunciated by Sukarno. Hence in the process of democratizing state institutions and political practices under early Reformasi, Pancasila was discarded for its supposedly authoritarian-cum-Javanist hue, despite its being an essential tenet of the republic’s inception. Pancasila in 1945: plus or minus seven words Consisting of five principles, Pancasila was elaborated and decided upon in 1945 at the time of the nation’s proclamation of independence. It was announced by Sukarno in a famous speech known as ‘The Birth of Pancasila’ (Lahirnya Pancasila), which he delivered before the Independence Preparatory Committee (Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia, BPUPKI) on 1 June 1945. Then as now, the principles defined various goals and ways for the incipient republic, as enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution: belief in one supreme God (religion not specified); humanitarianism; nationalism expressed in the unity of Indonesia; consultative democracy; and social justice.3 In contrast to Muslim nationalists who imagined an Islamic identity for the new state, the promoters of Pancasila insisted on a culturally neutral identity, compatible with democratic or Marxist ideologies, and encompassing the vast cultural differences of the country’s heterogeneous population. The proposed ideology was partly inspired by external models, both from the West and from the East.4 But besides these more ‘modern’ aspects, it basically reflected local references. Sukarno introduced it as an ideology unearthed (digali) from Indonesia’s soil. According to this primary interpretation, Pancasila is born out of a traditional society where the nation is seen as an idealized village. As

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such, it implies an orderly and egalitarian society, where the economy is organized on the basis of mutual self-help (gotong royong), and decisionmaking is done by consensus (musyawarah-mufakat). In Sukarno’s later versions of Pancasila, political and social dissent became deviant behavior. To some extent, Suharto amplified and modified this view: in his own increasingly Javanized version, he went so far as to contend that the fundamental building block of Pancasila was the ilmu kasunyatan (highest wisdom) that comes from the practices of kebatinan, or Javanese mysticism.5 In the early stage, the phrase ‘Belief in one God’ was followed by seven words (dengan kewajiban menjalankan syari’at Islam bagi pemeluknya) that literally translate as ‘with the obligation to implement Islamic sharia by its adherents’. Later labeled as the ‘Jakarta Charter’, the seven words had been inserted by Muslim politicians in an attempt to impose sharia law. However, they were deleted in the final version of the Constitutional text. Their omission meant an essentially secular Constitution was inaugurated on 18 August 1945, one day after the proclamation of independence. Indonesia’s state identity would then not be strictly theocratic (as in Saudi Arabia); but neither would it be overly secular (as in India). In order not to repel the more Christian eastern regions of Indonesia and upon Vice-President Hatta’s urge, Muslim leaders had given up an explicit Islamic state, for the sake of unity. Constitutional challenges to Pancasila Ever since the compromise sealed in 1945, political Islam repeatedly failed to obtain the inclusion of the ‘Jakarta Charter’ in the Constitution’s preamble. Throughout the period of parliamentary democracy in the 1950s, proponents of an Islamic state unsuccessfully promoted amendments that would have made it mandatory for Muslims to implement the sharia. Between 1956 and 1959, the constituent assembly reactivated the sharia argument, but the debate was closed by Sukarno, who unilaterally issued the 5 July 1959 presidential decree pronouncing, inter alia, the re-instatement of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. The discussion on sharia and the Jakarta Charter was then officially foreclosed. Under the New Order, the government prohibited any advocacy of an Islamic state, and Suharto appropriated Pancasila after successfully ousting Sukarno in 1966. He initially used the state ideology to quash communism, until he turned it into a weapon to suppress all forms of opposition. Later on, as he sat comfortably in power, he expanded the list of enemies of the state and Pancasila to include virtually anyone who criticized him or opposed his policies. Law No. 8 of 1985 on mass organizations was enacted with a view to disallowing sharia and other ‘non-Pancasila’ ideologies, while asserting the five principles as the ‘sole’ state ideology. From that year on, large numbers of Indonesians had to endure continuous indoctrination inculcated by means of state ideology seminars (the so-called P-4 training sessions of ill-repute).

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With the loosening of restrictions on freedom of speech and religion that followed the fall of Suharto in 1998, proponents of the Jakarta Charter resumed their efforts to revive the seven words. The main overt attempt took place prior to the 2002 annual session of the Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat (MPR), the people’s consultative assembly that has the power to change the Constitution. Particularly sensitive were proposals to amend Article 29, which would have redefined the relationship between religion and state. Three Islamic political factions (the United Development Party or PPP, the Crescent Star Party or PBB, and the Daulatul Ummah faction or PDU) and one ultrareformist Islamic organization (the Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia or DDII) called for the enshrinement of sharia in the Constitution. This amendment was opposed by the ‘secular’ factions, led by the larger parties Golkar and PDIP, as well as representatives of the military.6 The addition of the seven words was also rejected by Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, the more moderate Muslim mass organizations. Former President Abdurrahman Wahid himself opposed altering Article 29 on the grounds that it was the creation of the founding fathers of the Indonesian nation state. Thus a rift clearly separated the secular coalition who adamantly defended the original text of the first paragraph of Article 29: ‘The state is based upon the belief in the One and Only God’ (Negara berdasar Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa), from the Islamic parties who reiterated their steadfast support for the controversial mention: ‘with the obligation to implement sharia by its adherents’. In the midst of the annual session, anti- and pro-amendment protests broke out inside and outside the MPR assembly hall. Anti-amendment forces outside the MPR were spearheaded by retired military officers and PDIP members; inside the MPR, by PDIP legislators. Eventually, a coalition of nationalist parties, regional representatives elected by provincial legislatures, and appointed police, military, and functional representatives, who together held a majority of seats in the MPR, rejected the sharia amendment, and the measure never came to a formal vote.7 Somewhat paradoxically, the prosharia amendment that would have deeply Islamized the state was defeated by groups whose members are mostly (moderate) Muslims. However, in the wake of the debate, the MPR approved changes to the Constitution that required the government, among other obligations, to increase ‘faith and piety’ in education. This decision, seen as a concession to Islamic parties, set the scene for a controversial Education Bill signed into law in July 2003 (more about it below). Since then, the main trend has been to maintain the religious status quo as it is, in order not to imperil a very delicate balance. Various rules regulating religions (under the guidance of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Religion) are conservatively enforced. The government continues to ban proselytizing, arguing that it could prove disruptive, especially in areas heavily dominated by members of another religion. A joint decree issued by the Ministries of Religion and of the Interior in 1969 still prohibits members of one religion from trying to convert members of other faiths.

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Official religions (that is, recognized by the state: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism) are required to comply with directives taken by the Ministry of Religion, such as the Regulation on Building Houses of Worship (joint ministerial decree No. 1/1969, as amended in 2006), the Guidelines for the Propagation of Religion (ministerial decision No. 70/1978), Overseas Aid to Religious Institutions in Indonesia (ministerial decision No. 20/1978), and Proselytizing Guidelines (No. 77/1978). While the government strives to freeze the religious situation to prevent further disorder and maintain a fragile religious peace under the name of Pancasila, Muslim radicals continue to overtly defy the partly secular republic by requiring its Islamization; some even go as far as propagating, violently if need be, the idea of the caliphate. Confronting the Pancasila state with the caliphate Among the several groups of more extreme Islamists, most still maintain the Indonesian state as their framework of action. Such is the case of the Front Pembela Islam (FPI) or Front of the Defenders of Islam, an aggressive vigilante organization, and of various militias such as the Laskar Jihad, the Laskar Jundullah and the Laskar Hizbullah: while they do not accept the rejection of sharia by the powers that be, and aim at modifying the state to make it compatible with Islam, they still evolve within the context of the Indonesian republic. Even the Majelis Mujahiddin Indonesia (MMI), a group suspected to be an umbrella organization for the terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah, still defines itself as ‘Indonesian’. By contrast, others claim to counter the local Pancasila state by reformulating the Islamic state as a return to an imagined khilafah (caliphate). The Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (Liberation Party of Indonesia, HTI) is probably the most vocal among those that make a case for a khilafah as the final form of governance. Founded in 1953 in Baitul Maqdis, Palestine, this radical movement has been banned in several Arab and Asian countries. But HTI, its Indonesian branch, has survived and grown rapidly since its arrival in the early 1980s. HTI believes that ‘only with the creation of a pure transnational Islamic state headed by a caliph can Muslims be assured of living in a just, pious and secure society’. It specifically rejects the nation-state as ‘subverting the divine command for a unified community of believers’ and also dismisses thinking and systems not derived from Islam (Fealy 2007). Within the khilafah system, everything must be ruled by the divine law of sharia, ordained by God to his Messenger. It is a form of leadership aimed at unifying all Muslim people around the world, while implementing sharia and propagating the Faith (dakwah) throughout the world. The caliphate is a political system with a caliph or imam as the head of government supported by his deputies and functionaries. The government is based on a council of ulama, the only ‘representatives’ of God in the world. According to HTI, the umma today is no longer under the true Islamic leadership that should be

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provided by the caliphate, and Muslims have lived too long under a secular political order that has failed to meet Islamic needs. The movement claims a highly inflated number of two million members and supporters, which, if proven, would still be a relatively small figure by Indonesian standards. However, HTI is not merely a peripheral radical group. Five days prior to Independence Day on 12 August 2007, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia managed to convene a highly visible international conference in Jakarta to call for a caliphate. At the conference, HTI spokesman Muhammad Ismail Yusanto blasted secularism as ‘the mother of all destruction’ on earth, and called for an end to it by establishing a caliphate based on the prophetic tradition. The conference received significant attention worldwide as it was widely covered by the foreign media. It was amplified by a massive rally held at the national Bung Karno sports stadium, which attracted some 80,000 supporters, with the enticing slogan ‘dengan khilafah hidup menjadi berkah’ (under the caliphate life will be blessed). The event produced an image that suggested Indonesian moderate Islam was now shifting to fundamentalism. The presence at the forum of prominent Muslim scholar Din Syamsuddin, who leads the country’s second largest Muslim organization Muhammadiyah, and the once popular preacher Abdullah Aa Gymnastiar gave some credence to the claim that HTI is widely spreading its influence. However, moderate Muslims and official observers doubt the extent to which the idea of an international caliphate is gaining support in Indonesia and the Muslim world. In fact, they are more concerned with the campaign for sharia enforcement waged at grassroot levels in Indonesia. This strategy at undermining Pancasila from below is not only supported by self-professed radicals such as Hizbut Tahrir or the Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI) of former terror convict Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, but also by established Islamist groups such as the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), which is part of the current government coalition. A creeping Talibanization? Grassroot Islamization is sometimes referred to by Indonesian moderates as ‘Talibanization’, from the process endured by Afghanistan under the ruthless regime of the Talibans. In an attempt at gaining from below what could not be obtained from above (i.e. by Constitutional means), shariatization is pushed or imposed by militant Muslims at the local level: the foundations for a sharia-based state are laid indirectly through the propagation of Islamic values and norms of behavior. ‘To be a good Muslim, you must support an Islamic state.’ That simple message is being relayed from thousands of new mosques and pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) proliferating across Indonesia. Not a few are funded by Middle Eastern groups that regard Indonesia as fertile ground for the propagation of the faith. Clerics at these religious institutions preach the

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salafi strain of Islam, which requires a return to the religion as practiced in the era of the prophet. As Indonesia’s social gap remains wide – close to 40 million people still live below the poverty line – conservative mosques have attracted worshippers by promising to alleviate economic hardship and eradicate immorality. ‘They preach that Islam and sharia are an elixir’, says Azyumardi Azra, a prominent Muslim scholar and former rector of Jakarta’s State Islamic University (IAIN Syarif Hidayatullah). ‘The state’s social institutions have not fixed problems like drugs, prostitution, gambling and corruption. So people think maybe the mosques can solve things that the government has not.’8 The move towards a more Islamic way of life takes on several aspects, from moral statements and exhortations to formal regulations. In July 2005, at the end of its 7th Congress, the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI, the official council of Islamic scholars) issued 11 conservative fatwa, including one stating that ‘religious teachings influenced by pluralism, liberalism and secularism are against Islam’. The ulama also prohibited interfaith marriage and prayer, and reinforced a fatwa edict deeming heretical the Islamic sect Ahmadiyah, which claims up to 500,000 members in Indonesia. In 2006, and again in late 2007, several Ahmadiyah mosques have been forcibly closed or destroyed by mobs in West Java, as have dozens of Christian house churches. Some local judges and courts are influenced by religious conservatism, as shown in a case where a Muslim cleric in East Java was jailed for praying in Indonesian, as opposed to the normal Arabic.9 Another rather extreme sentence has been denounced by the media in West Java, where a decision made by a court resulted in three women serving three-year prison terms for running Christian kindergarten classes also attended by Muslim children.10 Part of this oppressive atmosphere is due to excesses committed by the Front of the Defenders of Islam (FPI). Its spokesman, Sobri Lubis, defiantly admits that ‘sometimes we have to defend the community’s morality by force’. The FPI (claimed membership: five million) has carried out thuggish anti-vice raids on Jakarta nightclubs. Its leader, Habib Rizieq, in November 2006 said that assassinating US President George W. Bush was religiously permissible (darahnya halal). In the same provocative way, some of Indonesia’s homegrown terrorists, whose bombing campaign has claimed hundreds of lives since the 2002 Bali killings, profess their violence is endorsed by salafi teachings – even if most conservative clerics disagree. Several regional governments have issued bylaws imposing sharia norms on public behavior.11 Interestingly enough, at the local level, political parties have not toed the national line of ideological divide, with secular parties being no less supportive of sharia than Islamic parties: the search for voters expected to be pro-sharia would influence most parties, including secular ones. Dozens of regencies and municipalities across Indonesia have used the opportunity of decentralization to enforce bans on alcohol and gambling, as well as prohibitions on women going out alone at night. Other restrictions and requirements relate to the closure of public roads during Friday prayers,

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particular dress codes for women and the obligation for Koranic literacy for those who want to marry or run in regional elections (in West Sumatra). In April 2006, Solok’s Regent Gusmal requested that all civil servants, military personnel, police officers and employees of state-owned companies read the Koran for five minutes before working. The request, announced in mosques and other public places, also asked people to turn off their televisions between 6 and 7:30 p.m. and read the Koran at home or at a mosque instead.12 Such local initiatives are growing rapidly in numbers. In 2003, only seven districts had faith-based regulations in place. Four years later, 53 districts, that is some 10 percent of all Indonesian regencies, were living under some form of Islamic-inspired law. These sharia bylaws raise quite a few theological doubts, as they may not be required by Islam. They may also contravene basic provisions of the 1945 Indonesian Constitution, which is why some of these edicts are being reviewed by the Ministry of the Interior. But so far, hardly any have been cancelled, whereas the Ministry does not hesitate to invalidate illegal local ordinances on taxes or customs. Such vacillations make moderates consider the government to be too lax in applying the law. ‘There is a tendency by the state to keep its hands off conflicts, especially those linked with religion.’13 Indeed, some authorities still remain ‘aloof ’ when people disturb followers of other faiths. More subtle forms of creeping shariatization emerge through discrete amendments negotiated in parliament by Islamist parties on legislation, such as the law on education. Enforced in 2003, the controversial National Education System Bill requires schools to ensure that each student receives religious instruction by a teacher of the same faith. Because few students of other faiths attend Islamic schools, these schools do not have to hire teachers of different faiths, arrange religion classes to study other faiths, or create special spaces for worship for adherents of other officially recognized religions. Conversely, Catholic and Protestant organizations, church groups and schools view the law as discriminatory, since in practice it makes it mandatory for them to have Islamic instruction given by Islamic teachers to students. Freedom of faith is also imperiled by amendments requested for the Criminal Code, where articles on blasphemy have been aggravated. ‘These articles glorify God, the prophets and their teachings. But in the end, they make it impossible for the people, especially the minorities, to express their belief.’14 However, there are signs that the drift toward radicalism is eventually prompting action by the nation’s central institutions and concerned citizens.

In support of Pancasila Against the more blatant excesses of Islamism, a strong and adverse reaction from moderate Muslims as well as non-Muslims is being increasingly felt. With a varying degree of success, a growing group of mainstream Indonesians is fighting back against puritanical interpretations of Islam’s role in society.

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While some have set up NGOs that funnel cash to liberal mosques or distribute pamphlets calling on Indonesians to defend their more inclusive spiritual traditions, others have acted more decisively. A group of prominent intellectuals and opinion leaders chose to use the official celebration of Pancasila on 1 June 2006, to signal the restoration of the state ideology against Islamic infringements on the public sphere. 1 June 2006, the day of the Maklumat On Pancasila Day, at the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the ‘Birth of the Five Principles’, a very official meeting was held at the Jakarta Convention Center, attended by the Indonesian president, a large number of cabinet ministers and some three thousand guests. A ‘Declaration on Indonesianness’ (Maklumat Keindonesiaan) was read before the president by human rights activist Todung Mulya Lubis. The slightly oldfashioned word Maklumat is reminiscent of the vocabulary used in the heroic struggle against the Dutch, at the time of the early republican Revolusi. Basically, the declaration was an appeal to national unity and spiritual tolerance, as warranted by Pancasila, seen as a relativist ideology. Indonesianness, according to the declaration, does not deny religion – it is inspired by it, but it does not privilege any faith: We are gathered here to reiterate Indonesia as the place where we stand; Indonesia as a treasured heritage but also as an ideal; the Indonesia that was not only a mandate for our predecessors, but which is also vested for the millions of children still to be born. … What is required is just an attitude that rejects any single, perpetual doctrine. We should always be open to alternative measures. We should always be prepared to try different methods, from a wide variety of creative sources. … So, Indonesia does not consider Pancasila to be a religion – as Indonesia has never based itself on a particular religion and does not intend to do so. The noble values of religions inspire us, but it is such values that make us recognize the limitations of man. With these limitations no man can impose his views on others, no man has the right to claim to have a monopoly on the truth and dominate speech. Today, we are reiterating Indonesia as our common goal, a goal that has yet to be accomplished. Today, we appeal to Indonesia to awaken in spirit and body, to unite in diversity. While the declaration made no reference to any particular threat, it was clear from earlier discussions that the activists surrounding Lubis were particularly concerned at the inroads made by the Muslim religious right in national politics, at times accompanied by the use of force.

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More than a dozen prominent intellectuals and pro-democracy advocates were standing by him on stage as he read the declaration. They included Goenawan Mohamad, Jakob Oetama, Rahman Tolleng, H.S. Dillon, Rosita Noor, Karlina Supelli, Azyumardi Azra, Daniel Dhakidae, Mochtar Pabottingi and B. Herry-Priyono. Among the many guests were political and religious leaders, as well as members of religious minorities such as Ahmadiyah, whose followers have been the target of physical attacks by radical Islamic groups. These attacks and raids on churches in many parts of Indonesia have raised doubts about the government’s ability to protect people’s freedom of religion, as mandated by the 1945 Constitution, and their right to practice their faith. Guests were invited to sign a petition on leaving the ceremony, while the declaration, so it was announced, would be circulated nationwide to gain wider support.15 SBY: Pancasila is final! President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) personally took a stronger stand. After the reading of the Maklumat, he delivered his own speech,16 conveying a simple message: Pancasila is not to be disputed or challenged, it is final. ‘In fact, the debate is over. The founding fathers of the Republic have already found the right solution.’17 The president’s statement was welcomed by enthusiastic cheers from the Plenary Hall. Not a few among the audience were showing signs of a deep emotion. On the balcony, some people were heard shouting ‘Bhineka Tunggal Ika!’ (Unity in diversity!), the national motto of Indonesia (Pidato Presiden Republik Indonesia 2006). According to the head of state, Pancasila was confirmed as the state ideology in 1998, when the People’s Consultative Assembly abrogated the resolution on the mandatory practice of Pancasila as imposed by Suharto (TAP MPR nomor 2/MPR/1978 tentang P4). Pancasila was then explicitly and officially reinstated as the state principles by assembly resolution TAP MPR RI No. 18/MPR/1998. As to the first principle (belief in the One and Only God, Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa), ‘which is most important’, President Yudhoyono referred to Sukarno’s speech to remind the audience that it is based on ‘mutual respect’. ‘Indonesia is a state “with” God (ber-Tuhan). Religion is practised in a civilized manner. Relations between religious communities, their cult activities, their tolerance, must be returned to the basic principles. As contained in the 1 June [1945] speech’ (in Pidato Presiden Republik Indonesia 2006). The Jakarta Center ceremony was felt to be different from earlier similar events, as since the end of the New Order Yudhoyono was the first president to clarify the status of Pancasila. His immediate predecessors would rather commemorate Sukarno’s speech on the five principles in a simple, low-key manner. Under the New Order, the ‘birth’ of Pancasila was ignored altogether, in favor of the 1 October celebration, the so-called ‘day of the sanctity

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of Pancasila’ (hari kesaktian Pancasila), which commemorated the murder of the generals on 30 September 1965. Origin of the Maklumat The 1 June event was the culmination of a series of meetings mostly held in the weeks before, as activists, with the help of leading universities, sought to restore Pancasila as the unifying national ideology. The initiative was prepared by a coalition of several institutions: the faculty of social and political sciences of the University of Indonesia (Fisip UI), the Association for Democratic Education (Perhimpunan Pendidikan Demokrasi), the Brighten Institute, Gadjah Mada University, and the Tempo Media press group. On 31 May 2006, they organized a ‘symposium’ at the campus of the University of Indonesia in Depok, south of Jakarta, that ‘reconciled’ the five principles with modernity and identity (Restorasi Pancasila Mendamaikan Politik Identitas dan Modernitas). The Maklumat was elaborated at the occasion. Other encounters paved the way to the Depok symposium. One of them took place in December 2005 at a house in Menteng, the upper-class district in central Jakarta. There, Rahman Tolleng,18 the self-proclaimed socialist intellectual, had established the Perhimpunan Pendidikan Demokrasi. The participants in the informal discussion held that day included well-known personalities, such as Salahuddin Wahid from the Nahdlatul Ulama, senior reporter Aristides Katoppo from Sinar Harapan, Hamid Basyaib the thinker of Islam liberal, the lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis, and the Jesuit Franz Magnis Suseno, SJ. At the time, the controversy over the Antipornografi dan Pornoaksi (RUUAPP) bill was still raging, and many suspected the piece of legislation to be a means of forcing elements of sharia into the public sphere. The ensuing meetings were attended by more and more personalities and NGO activists. A quite significant participant was the Bogor House of Enlightenment, also known as the Brighten Institute, a public policy think tank led by economists from the Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB). The Brighten Institute is regarded as close to President Yudhoyono, as it was founded by SBY himself, when he was a doctoral student at IPB in 2001. The pro-Pancasila group that authored the Maklumat Keindonesiaan eventually came to include an assemblage of reporters, lawyers, NGO activists, artists, university professors and lecturers, intellectuals, Muslim liberals and moderates, Christian clergymen, politicians from PDIP and Golkar.19 It constituted an interesting mix of secular Indonesians emphasizing cultural and religious diversity. Of special note in this context is the network of liberal Muslims (Jaringan Islam Liberal, JIL) that links together various Muslim intellectuals close to Nahdlatul Ulama, the huge organization of generally conservative ulama. Inspired by Abdurrahman Wahid’s open style, liberal Muslims promote a more modern type of Islam opposed to the radicalism of literalist or scripturalist Muslims that feed the hardline stream. They are especially

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critical of what they call the ‘Arabization’ of Indonesian Islam, especially in its salafi version. The discovery of a new mantra: pluralism, and its Javanization The need to defend and restore Pancasila has led its advocates to reconstruct and refine the discourse on the five principles. Essentially, they insist that Pancasila is a relativist doctrine, which accommodates various interests and prevents the imposition of anyone’s view on everyone. To help rehabilitate the five principles, they emphasize one of the major components of Indonesianness, i.e. Javanese syncretism. Previously seen as a domineering system that blends diversity in a Javanese mould, Java’s integrative culture is tentatively refashioned as a softer system that recognizes and accepts pluralism without trying to melt its components. Java is even ‘decentralized’ and relocated from its status as a center-based culture to a new symbolic place as a victimized, or at least oppressed culture, hostage to Islamism or to the arbitrary vagaries of Jakarta. Java is almost becoming peripheral and thus righteous, in a time of regional autonomy. Javanese is idealized as a way of life based on religious pacific coexistence, a tolerant mixture linking various beliefs, rituals, and values. Syncretism is promoted as a source of enjoyment and pride derived from the feeling of peace, the happy mixing and intermingling of differing shades, colors, gods, saints, garbs, ways. A preference is reasserted in favor of tradition, custom (adat), and ritual. Being Javanese is now associated with being different and enjoying the difference of others; consequently, as Java continues to be the quintessence of Indonesia, being Indonesian means being able both to be different and to remain together. In order to keep together, one needs difference, and the skill to overcome variety. Democratic, secular pluralism is then construed as another version of Javanese Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. One can be a moderate Muslim, a radical one, a non-Muslim, and still participate in Indonesianness. Indonesia is beyond Islam and other faiths, it is a compound of various faiths, beliefs, colors (warna), islands, ethnic groups. This re-engineering of Javanese culture enables the varnishing of Pancasila with the latest version of Javanism: from an authoritarian, Suharto-like, centralistic and feudal formula to a pluralist one. The Sultan of Yogyakarta himself, to refer to a significant bearer of traditional Java as well as a (late) convert to Reformasi, feels entitled to symbolize this new reading of Javanism. He speaks of ‘knitting back our Indonesianness’, according to the title of his programmatic book (Merajut Kembali Keindonesiaan Kita). Drawing on things Javanese, Hamengku Buwono X intends to reform Indonesia, by submitting himself to the electoral process in 2009; despite his monarchic status, he is ready to become an elected head of state.20 However, the re-imagining of Javanism may not be palatable to all, since Java is still seen as a domineering center in Indonesia, at least to the outer islanders who still distrust Javanese ‘Majapahitism’ imperialism.

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Beyond Javanism reinterpreted, Pancasila requires some gloss and didacticism to restore its legitimacy and potential as a source of pluralism. ‘We need Pancasila to remind us that humans are not eternity’, journalist Goenawan Mohammad declared at the Depok symposium. Pancasila remains important during democratic times because ‘it represents all of the country’s diverse ethnic and religious interests’. It is both a dynamic goal and an ideal. ‘Pancasila represents a horizon for the nation. We never reach it but we are always in the process of reaching it.’ To help facilitate a renewed acceptance of the five principles, the reasons why it was discredited and almost abandoned are explored by its new promoters. Two factors are usually emphasized: (1) the principles were abused by Suharto; and (2) the helplessness of the state under Reformasi has opened the way to sharia. Professor Azyumardi Azra confirms the recurring explanation: ‘Many people are anti-Pancasila because the New Order regime used it to indoctrinate the Indonesian people and to threaten them.’ In addition, the ‘recent disdain for Pancasila’ was accompanied by the ‘inefficacy of the state in maintaining law and order’. The social consequence was and still is that ‘many people who want certainty from the law believe that sharia is a solution’. According to Islamic scholar Dawam Rahardjo, the core of Indonesia’s ideology was to not allow the majority to impose its views on minorities. In his view, Pancasila can deal more properly with minorities, contrary to liberal democracy that imposes the rule of 50 percent plus one: You can see that sectarian groups are now forcing their beliefs on others through bylaws and sharia. Pancasila does not take one side of one religion and does not allow the state to meddle with its people about their beliefs … But now, the state has violated its people’s rights to hold their religion and beliefs.21 Plurality is re-emphasized as the very texture of Indonesia. It is enshrined in a demographic religious paradox: despite its huge Muslim majority population, Indonesia is Constitutionally not an Islamic state. Therefore, ‘Muslims’ acceptance of Pancasila is no doubt one of the most important Indonesian Islamic roots of pluralism’, so the rationale goes.22 The greatness of the five principles is validated by a perceived relation to Sufism. Pancasila puts Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists on an equal footing. ‘That is not only a revolution in Islamic thinking but also a translation of the mystical ideas of the great Sufi Muslim Ibn Arabi into a political program.’ Sufi Islam’s tolerance and its rejection of any dogmatism have become a political reality in Indonesia. Non-Muslims are not dhimmis but citizens of equal standing. This offers a model for an egalitarian definition of Islam and Christianity, which is also extended to religions not mentioned in Islamic revelation: Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

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It is commonly held that Indonesia should neither be a secular state nor a theocracy. But the possibility of its becoming a theocracy is more strongly opposed since it is viewed by Pancasila supporters as the more dangerous alternative: In a secular state, religious law has no civil effects. But in a theocracy, state law is understood to be derived from God. What is ignored is that divine law derived from religious scriptures is still interpreted by humans. And no humans, as though claiming a monopoly to ‘the truth’, have the right to impose such interpretations on others in the name of the state.23

Negative responses from Islamists These stands as well as other statements linked to the 1 June 2006 Maklumat drew mixed reactions from the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI). One of its members derided the petitioners of ‘Indonesianness’ as being ‘overly fearful of Islam’ and accused them of propounding ‘outright secular-nationalism’. The impetus of the pro-Pancasila campaign put Muslim hard-liners on the defensive. As early as 2005, the MUI had condemned secularism, liberalism and pluralism, which was a way to challenge Pancasila in its pluralist interpretation. Days after the pro-Pancasila Maklumat, the chairman of the fatwa commission of the MUI, Ma’ruf Amin, again rejected relativism and celebrated the absoluteness of the faith: ‘Islam has lived in this country for 500 years, and regulates all aspects of human life … Islamic values are better than human rights. We know that Islam comes from God. We don’t know who created human rights.’24 However, rather than overtly reject the five principles, the leaders of most radical groups say that they too accept it – but they assert a right to construe its significance the Islamic way. For Ma’ruf Amin, ‘Every religion has the right to interpret Pancasila according to its religious teachings.’ Since Pancasila cannot be merely dismissed, one way to master it is to consider it as an integral part of Islam. This rationale is actually a return to ideological attempts made in the 1950s to Islamize Pancasila. Ma’ruf Amin regards Pancasila as ‘not secular’ since Article 29 of the 1945 Constitution stipulates that ‘the state is based on the belief in the One and Only God (Negara berdasar Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa)’. In addition, he notes that ‘not a single article in the 1945 Constitution rejects religion as a source of law’. What is not explicitly prohibited is permitted. ‘Religion’, in his interpretation, means Islam, which then becomes ‘a source of national law’.25 The Pancasila state therefore can be construed as opening the way to a sharia state. This ‘Islamic Pancasila’ has become the response of most radical groups, including the hardline Hizbut Tahrir, to attempts to read the five principles as a secular, plural ideal. ‘Pancasila is nothing else but the Indonesian formula for a public life based on Islam’ (Pancasila tiada lain adalah rumusan

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Indonesia untuk kehidupan kenegaraan yang Islami). Such is the situation, despite the fact that the seven words of the Jakarta Charter were erased from the preamble of the Constitution. Going one step further, an expert on the sociology of religion and a professor at Andalas University (Padang, West Sumatra) claims Pancasila may not be ‘secularized’.26 Promoting it as ‘secular pluralism’ is a ‘manipulation’ similar to that of the 1960 ‘Nasakom’, when Sukarno reinterpreted the state philosophy as an ideological compound made of nationalism, religion and communism (nasionalisme, agama dan komunisme). By equating secularism with communism, Islamists intend to discredit a secular reading of Pancasila, since communism remains taboo, even in post-Suharto years. The first principle (belief in the One and Only God) cannot be separated from religion (Islam), lest it become a sort of ‘deism’ similar to that of the European aufklärung, ‘which is not compatible with Eastern identity’ (ibid.). A final and more subtle criticism addressed by Islamists to secular pluralism is that it facilitates the introduction of ‘market globalization’, which conveys ‘a corrosive loss of values’. Secular capitalism is adverse to the ‘central message of their faith, which is social justice and to which Islam provides outreach, comfort and solace to the poor and the desperate’.27 In the ideological competition for the control of Pancasila and the domination of the state, the overuse of social justice and identity slogans by Islamists is probably the most effective weapon. Here the battle of norms and values between ‘secularists’ and Islamists becomes more of a political fight. This renewed dynamics of ideological Islamism has led the secular, mostly Javanese, establishment to respond with new political moves. Toward a new Pancasila front?28 On the very day the Maklumat was read before SBY, a group of former leaders of the republic and religious personalities gathered in another mansion in Menteng, Jakarta. At the residence of one of Suharto’s former vice-presidents at Jln. Purwakarta No. 6, a formal statement entitled ‘Pernyataan 1 Juni 2006 Purwakarta 6’ was adopted by the distinguished guests. One of the paragraphs mentioned Pancasila as the sole ideology of the nation. The host, General Try Sutrisno,29 had invited leading members of Indonesia’s political establishment: former President Abdurrahman Wahid, former chairman of the parliament Akbar Tandjung, former Minister of Defense, General (ret.) Wiranto, former President Megawati Soekarnoputri and her spouse Taufiq Kiemas, former Finance Minister Fuad Bawazier, press magnate Djafar Assegaf, and spiritual leaders from Indonesia’s main religions.30 According to General Try Sutrisno: Pancasila values should be something we share, something that can guarantee our complexity and diversity. These values are currently threatened by pressures towards a specific type of life. Formal democratic

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procedures are being abused to weaken and undermine social cohesion. Which is why leaders and politicians should again understand, experience and implement Pancasila values both in day-to-day life and in politics. Abdurrahman Wahid went further, asserting that ‘the frontier between state and religion was delineated by Pancasila. By adhering to the five principles, Indonesia is not a religious state.’ Beyond declarations of intent by former leaders, nationalist-secular politicians from the real world tried to display a tangible stance to face radical Muslim parties. It was not an easy task, as Islamists captured 20 percent of the vote in the 2004 general election, a percentage which together with moderate Muslim parties amounted to some 35 percent. Indonesia’s secularized, nationalist parties so far had been careful not to alienate what was believed to be an increasingly influential Islamic vote. But in 2007 they eventually joined forces against radicals in an attempt to preserve their domination of the state apparatus and the national political stage. The two major parties, Golkar and PDIP, struck an apparently paradoxical alliance: PDIP had declared itself to be in the opposition to President SBY whereas Golkar, under the leadership of vice-president Yusuf Kalla, had moved to support the president. On 21 June, in Medan, Golkar and PDIP announced they were setting up a coalition to engage in the 2009 presidential election. As the then two largest political parties in Indonesia, the two political groupings through their rapprochement underlined the necessity of a return to Pancasila. Taufik Kiemas, the husband of PDIP chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri, called on party supporters and the public to defend pluralism, claiming both parties were concerned over an increasing trend to shift away from national consensus and values stipulated by the country’s founding fathers. On behalf of Golkar, Surya Paloh agreed that the two parties were fighting against efforts by ‘certain groups’ to change the nation’s pluralist commitment and values as stipulated in the state’s ideology and the Constitution. ‘The two nationalist parties strongly disagree with any ideology or value other than Pancasila, the Constitution or pluralism, which have become Indonesia’s way of life and thinking.’ This fanciful alliance between Golkar and PDIP did not outlive the 2009 political juncture, when they split to support their respective presidential candidates, Yusuf Kalla and Megawati Soekarnoputri. But it reflected a common concern of the ‘republican’ parties over the increasing presence of ‘sectarian parties’ believed to be instigating the enactment of sharia bylaws and certain bills negating pluralism. Symbolically as well as politically, the larger parties – and after the April 2009 general election they were joined and topped by SBY’s own Democrat Party as a new ‘government party’ – are still influenced by the traditional Pancasila model, that is, the Java-centered but still somewhat authoritarian version. Despite their recent conversion to pluralism, these large, ‘state’ parties remain heir to a double tradition, that of Sukarno and Suharto, which is centralistic, strongly unitary and undoubtedly

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opposed to Islamism. While the majority of their members are moderate Muslims, they do not condone the idea of an Islamic state. Their view of Pancasila is fairly secular, although not quite pluralist. Despite their professed ideology, as ruling parties they may compromise with the very groups they claim to oppose, i.e. political Islam. Out of opportunism, Golkar for one has in various districts pushed some Muslim agendas. Similarly, SBY’s Democrat Party, as the new leading party after the 2009 election (20 percent of the votes), accommodated a presidential coalition that was still made up of a number of Muslims parties, including the Islamist PKS, PBB and PPP. It did so despite the election decline of political Islam from a combined 35 percent of the vote in 2004 to 25 percent in 2009. Indeed, since his first election as president in 2004, SBY has relied on Muslim parties to sustain his government. This very fact of realpolitik may explain his inertia or tolerance of pro-sharia local regulations despite his explicit pro-Pancasila statements. Ambiguity revealed: principles vs compromises Against the same backdrop, an overestimate of Islam’s political strength accounts for the failure of secular forces to defeat the enactment of a controversial bill pushed by Islamic parties. The Pornography Bill was finally adopted by the parliament with the backing of Golkar. The secular party’s MPs joined up with the Muslim-led coalition that for several years had tried very hard to have legislation approved by the parliament to ‘protect children and women against pornography’. This legislation was another attempt to Islamize society as it limited women’s freedom and censored social mores by among others criminalizing public kissing and forms of traditional dance. After strong protests from liberal-minded nationalists, Balinese, Menadonese and Papuans, Christians and various intellectuals and NGO activists, the bill was quietly shelved by the parliament in 2006. However, two years later, in September 2008, legislators introduced a revised version of the bill to the parliament, hoping that it would be passed quickly. The outcry was again loud – thousands of people demonstrated in Bali and there were large demonstrations in Yogyakarta. But the bill was eventually passed on 30 October 2008. The final law is more moderate than the 2005–06 bill. The text was shortened to 45 articles, which does not mean that it was watered down, but rather that it is much less specific on many issues. The law leaves a lot of interpretation to the courts, when they will have to judge pornography cases. Opponents of the bill hoped that the head of state would object or amend some of its provisions, but its latest version was ratified by the president on 26 November as Law No. 44 of 2008 on Pornography, with no substantial changes (Pausacker 2008). The attitudes of both Golkar and the president were regarded by secularists as opportunistic and ill-advised, since support for sharia and conservative

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rules seems to be declining, as shown by various opinion surveys that indicate a general weariness of the public towards religious radicals, political censors and other moral supervisors. The 2009 election did confirm this trend with a clear defeat of political Islam.31 However, SBY’s government still suffers from ambiguity or procrastination when it comes to dealing with extremists: the state guardians display a cautious middle-of-the-road attitude. Parallel to the heated debate on pornography, the final fate of Ahmadiyah was another case of government hesitation as several Islamic groups and bodies (notably the Ulama’s council, MUI and the FPI militia) continued to demand its outright ban. The heretic Muslim sect was still harassed by orthodox radicals despite the strong backing provided by the Maklumat group and other secularists including from the military. As the government’s decision regarding Ahmadiyah was due to be handed down any day, dozens of demonstrators held a peaceful rally in support of religious freedom at the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta on 1 June 2008. The date chosen for the demonstration was again the anniversary of Sukarno’s 1945 speech on Pancasila. Carrying banners of AKKBB, the National Alliance for the Freedom of Religion and Belief (Aliansi Kebangsaan untuk Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan) close to the Maklumat group, the demonstrators meant to ‘celebrate Pancasila, our national philosophy, which is all about living in a plural society’, while urging the government to uphold the Constitution, i.e. to protect Ahmadiyah. As they started to move, a group of people wearing white robes and waving FPI flags appeared, shouting ‘Allahu akbar!’ (God is great). The FPI militia attacked the demonstrators with sharpened bamboo stakes and stones. Nineteen people were injured, some seriously. The government reacted firmly, having 57 members of FPI, including its leader Rizieq Shihab, arrested following the incident. But protection granted to Ahmadiyah was minimal, as FPI was not banned. In fact, Ahmadiyah was itself virtually declared illegal by the 9 June 2008 decree that summarily ordered it ‘to stop spreading any interpretation incompatible with the teachings of Islam’.32

Conclusion: what does Pancasila stand for? A secular, religious, or Islamic state? The shape and prospects of the Indonesian state and its relation to religion remain in question: is Indonesia a secular or religious state? Whatever the answer, whither is it bound? More than ever, the views are contradictory. According to the republican norm, everyone is expected to embrace one of the ‘recognized’ religions, which means that Indonesia is some sort of ‘religious’ state (negara religius), where citizenship depends on adherence to an officially agreed religion. Recently, however, though with no clear legal ground, President Yudhoyono stated that Indonesia no longer distinguished between recognized and unrecognized religions.

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Despite a consensus on the wording of Pancasila, there is no common understanding of how it should be interpreted. Indonesia is regarded by most Indonesians as ‘neither secular nor Islamic’, which induces many misunderstandings: non-Muslims claim that under Pancasila they have freedom of worship, while many Muslims hold the view that Islamic law should be the source of national law. To mitigate the potential for national disintegration borne by this contradiction, representatives of every recognized religion have engaged in inter-faith dialogues meant to foster mutual understanding, mutual tolerance and brotherhood – to revive Pancasila basic values and enhance pluralism. Whether having a dialogue mitigates religious rivalry or not, it probably produces a kind of implicit secularism by aligning religions side by side, like some religious pressure groups obliged to accept a common rule of the game. In this constrained rapprochement, some transcendence is lost for the benefit of relativism. The Pancasila state framework then makes it difficult for Islam to be treated specifically, while it tends to see itself as an exceptional religion, both meant to dominate but also prone to be dominated by other organized creeds. This sensitive fate of Islam in Indonesia accounts for the Islamists’ urge to seek some form of an Islamic state, including by Islamizing Pancasila. Through its arrogance and excesses, radical Islam generates a demand for a softer, ‘spiritual’ Islam, seen as more genuine or more compatible with local cultures: Political Islam’s adherents believe that they have the solution to everything. Spiritual Islam knows that this is not true. The expression of political Islam is commonly imagined as hangings, stoning, beheadings, amputations and whippings of condemned criminals. Spiritual Islam expresses itself in compassion, mercy and justice rather than punishments.33 This piece of wishful thinking is not invalidated by public opinion surveys. Interestingly, Islamists and their supporters emerge from such pollings as no more than a vocal and noisy minority: according to a survey conducted by the Center for the Study of Islam and Society (Pusat Pengkajian Islam dan Masyarakat, PPIM, 15 May 2007), only 22 percent of Indonesians support sharia law as the basis of the state. The rest are in favor of Pancasila as the state principles.34 Other surveys confirm this proportion, which is fairly stable. As an overarching dogma, is Pancasila sacred? Presumably not, despite its being still celebrated as ‘sakti’ on every 1 October. But it is a mandatory locus for ideological and religious competition. It seems to be almost devoid of any set significance since it can be interpreted in opposite, or at least wildly diverging, ways. But it has a power of its own, since the various actors of Indonesia’s political and religious scene cannot help but refer to it, sometimes to the verge of irrationality, as though Pancasila was an azimat,35 an ‘amulet’ whose possession would give its holder an irrefutable privilege and advantage over everyone else.

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Rather than a properly religious struggle, the battle for the control of Pancasila and ultimately of the state, is a political struggle. The ultimate goal is not God, but power.

Notes 1 An abundant literature is by now available on Islamic political renewal. Among others, see Hefner (2000) and Hefner and Horvatich (1997). Feillard and Madinier (2006) deal more specifically with Islamic radicals and hardliners in Indonesia. 2 For discussion, see Sindhunata (1999). 3 There are various wordings of Pancasila. However, the focus here is on the first sila (Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa, belief in the One and Only God), with a rather stable formulation. The five principles are referred here in the singular form as they are often viewed as a single, slightly reified, entity. 4 On the origins of Pancasila, see Bonneff et al. (1980). 5 See Suharto’s autobiography (Dwipayana and Ramadhan 1989); also, Yustinianus (2005). 6 Beside Golkar and PDIP (Indonesian Democratic Struggle Party), the secular coalition also comprised several smaller parties: the National Awakening Party (PKB), the Loving Nation Democratic Party (PDKP), the Indonesian Nationhood Coalition Faction (FKKI), the Regional Representatives (FUD), and the MilitaryPolice Faction (FTNI/Polri). 7 For details of the debates and political games on the failed amendment, see Ichwan (2003). 8 Quoted by Beech (2007). 9 Muhammad Yusman Roy, of the Islamic boarding school Pondok I’tikaf Jama’ah Ngaji Lelaku, was arrested for leading prayers in Arabic and Indonesian. As the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued an edict saying prayers can only be conducted in Arabic, Roy had thus allegedly violated Article 156 (a) of the Criminal Code on despoiling an organized religion. 10 See Beech (2007). 11 Aceh remains the only part of the country where the national government has explicitly authorized sharia. Law 18/2001 granted Aceh special autonomy and included authority for Aceh to establish a system of sharia as an adjunct to, not a replacement for, national civil and criminal law. Before it could take effect, the law required the provincial legislature to approve local regulations (qanun) incorporating sharia precepts into the legal code. Law 18/2001 states that the sharia courts would be ‘free from outside influence by any side’. Article 25(3) stipulates that the authority of the court will only apply to Muslims. This law is being implemented under the peace agreement of August 2005 between Jakarta and the GAM independentists. Some people worry that the legal exception enjoyed by Aceh in terms of sharia implementation could become a precedent for other regional governments keen on applying Islamic law. However, sharia in Aceh is limited by Article 26(2) of the 2001 law that designates the national Supreme Court as the court of appeal for Aceh’s sharia courts. 12 See Syofiardi Bachyul (2007). 13 ‘Ada kecenderungan lepas tangannya negara, terutama terhadap sejumlah konflik terkait dengan agama’, in Setiawan (2006). 14 According to Siti Musdah Mulia from the ICRP (Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace). See Hotland (2007). 15 See Bayuni (2006).

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16 Pidato Presiden Republik Indonesia DR. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ‘Menata kembali kerangka kehidupan bernegara berdasarkan Pancasila’ dalam rangka memperingati hari lahir Pancasila, Jakarta Convention Center, 1 June 2006. 17 ‘Sebenarnya sudah usai debat ini. Para pendiri Republik sudah mencarikan solusi yang tepat’, in ‘Penegasan Seorang Presiden’, Tempo, 11 June 2006. 18 On Rahman Tolleng, see Raillon (1984). Tolleng was chief editor of Mingguan Mahasiswa Indonesia from 1966 to 1971, and later on of Suara Karya daily. As a member of the PSI (the Indonesian Socialist Party), he had strongly opposed Sukarno; after supporting the New Order in its early period, he eventually became very critical of Suharto’s regime. 19 A provisional list of the signatories of the Pancasila petition contains the following names: A. Rahman Tolleng (socialist intellectual), Rachland Nashidik (Director of Imparsial), Robertus Robet (Imparsial), Joyo Winoto (Direktur Senior Brighten Institute), Todung Mulya Lubis (lawyer), Gumilar Rusliwa Somantri, Rocky Gerung, Daddi Heryono Gunawan, Dawam Rahardjo (LP3ES economist), Goenawan Mohamad (poet and founder of Tempo magazine), Mohamad Sobary (former CEO of Antara Press Bureau), Siti Musdah Mulia (ICRP), Mohtar Mas’oed, Ichlasul Amal, Hamid Basyaib (Liberal Islamic Network, JIL), Budhy Munawar Rachman, Mochtar Pabottinggi (political scientist), Adnan Buyung Nasution (lawyer), H.S. Dillon (economist), Endy M. Bayuni (journalist), Rosita Noer (Reform Institute), Pramono Anung (PDIP secretary general), Eva K. Sundari (MP, PDIP), Jakob Oetama (Kompas group), Daniel Dhakidae (journalist), Fikri Jukri (journalist), B. Herry Priyono (Driyarkara School of Philosophy), Karlina Supelli, Gadis Arivia (UI lecturer in philosophy), M. Chatib Basri (UI economist), Saiful Mudjani, F. Iriani Sophiaan Yudoyoko, Yudi Latief, Adrianus Meliala (criminologist), Ery Seda (FISIP UI), Usman Hamid, Fenta, Bivitri Susanti (PSHK, Center for Study of Law and Policy), A.A. Sudirman, Agus Wahyudi, Andi Achdian, Budiman Sujatmiko (former chairperson of the Partai Rakyat Demokrat), Dian Sastrowardoyo (actress), Endo Suanda (musician), Nyak Ina Raseuki (Ubiet), Rieke Dyah Pitaloka (entertainer), Nugroho Dewanto, Rosiana Silalahi (SCTV reporter). 20 See the article in Tempo (2008), ‘Buka Kayon Sultan Yogya’, Tempo, 24–30 March. 21 Minutes from the Depok Symposium, Restorasi Pancasila Mendamaikan Politik Identitas dan Modernitas, 31 May 2006. 22 See Kusuma (2006). 23 For discussion, see Djiwandono (2006). 24 ‘Muslim hardliners say they accept Pancasila in own way’, The Jakarta Post, 5 June 2006. 25 See Ma’ruf Amin (2006). 26 Bustanuddin Agus, Guru Besar Sosiologi Agama Universitas Andalas Padang, ‘Bahaya Sekularisasi Pancasila’, 29 June 29 2006, on MUI website. 27 As suggested by Sudarsono (2006). 28 The original Pancasila Front was set up in 1965 by Sukarno’s (military) opponents, to already restore the five principles in their primal, 1945, ‘purity’. 29 Try Sutrisno was Suharto’s vice-president from 1993 to March 1998. As the current chairman of the Armed Forces Veterans Association, he is an active lobbyist for the military’s political interests. 30 ‘Perdebatan tentang Pancasila’, Pikiran Rakyat, 2 June 2006. 31 See Mujani and Liddle (2009), especially p. 588: ‘We also find declining support for Islamist values. For example, opposition to a woman as president declined over the period 2005–7 from 41% to 22%, support for amputation of thieves’ hands from 40% to 34%, and support for stoning of adulterers from 55% to 43%.’ Electionwise, the total secular party vote in 2009 rose significantly to 57 percent.

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32 Joint decree taken by the Minister of Religion, the Attorney General and the Minister of the Interior. 33 See Prijosusilo (2007). 34 Khumaini (2007) for a discussion. 35 Sukarno compared the Principles with amulets in his famous slogan Panca Azimat Revolusi (the Five Amulets of the Revolution), introduced in 1965. See Bonneff et al. (1980: 42, 179).

Part II

Bali

Map 3 Map of Bali (courtesy Ade Pristie Wayho, École française d’Extrême-Orient, Jakarta)

5

From Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu and back Toward a relocalization of the Balinese religion? Michel Picard

On 28 January 2007, a group of influential community leaders, composed of prominent priests, aristocrats and academics, gathered in a symbolically highly laden temple, solemnly declared that the Balinese people should return to the religion of their forefathers: Agama Hindu Bali. This declaration met with a vehement rebuke on the part of members of the urbanized middle-class intelligentsia, who enjoined their fellow coreligionists to fully embrace Agama Hindu, instead of reverting to their former parochialism. Now, regardless of their disagreement on the religion that should be endorsed by the Balinese people, it is significant that both factions appear to take for granted that the so-called Agama Hindu Bali was indeed the religion traditionally practised in Bali. Actually, it was only in the 1950s that Agama Hindu Bali became the name of the Balinese religion, and this, after a protracted controversy pertaining to the place and role of ‘Hinduism’ in the construction of a Balinese identity (Picard 2004). Consequently, in order to fully grasp what is at issue with the present opposition between Agama Hindu Bali and Agama Hindu, one has to take into account the debates among Balinese about their religion from colonial times to the present. The Balinese were not the only ones amidst the peoples of the Dutch East Indies to question their religious traditions. Indeed, the drive to reform the Balinese religion was in many respects similar to other modernizing reform movements in the Archipelago, which started in the late nineteenth century (Howell 1978, 1982). However, the Hinduization of the Balinese religion is a singular process, different both from the conversion of the followers of a traditional religion to a world religion (such as Islam or Christianity) and from the reform that nominal adepts of a missionary religion (such as Javanese abangan) had to carry out in order to conform their religious practices to a more orthodox version of their faith. What Clifford Geertz (1973a) called a process of ‘internal conversion’ is an ambiguous phenomenon, in the sense that the Balinese had to invent themselves as the ‘Hindu’ which they were already supposed to be. While claiming to be ‘Hindu’, the Balinese reformers acknowledged from the outset that their agama (‘religion’) had been historically shaped by their

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adat (‘tradition’). So much so that their debates have focused upon two sets of interdependent questions: 1 How is agama connected to adat, and how to discriminate between their respective fields? 2 How is Agama Bali linked to Agama Hindu, that is, how far is the ‘Balinese religion’ related to the ‘Hindu religion’? On both questions, there has been a perennial conflict between the Balinese who want to retain the specificity of their religious practices and values, and those who aspire to reform the Balinese religion by conforming it to what they think Hinduism is about. The first group has been mainly composed of the ‘conservative’ nobility, whereas the second has consisted mostly of educated commoners displaying a ‘progressive’ outlook. In order to address these questions, I shall delineate four stages: 1 The colonial era, when the terms of the debate apropos the Balinese religious identity were being elaborated, pitting advocates of Agama Bali Hindu against proponents of Agama Hindu Bali. 2 The years following the incorporation of Bali into the Republic of Indonesia, when the Balinese had to struggle in order to obtain the official recognition of their religion, initially as Agama Hindu Bali and subsequently as Agama Hindu. 3 The time of the New Order regime, marked by a growing disjunction between the Balinese religious and ethnic identities. 4 The period of Reformasi launched by the fall of President Suharto, which saw the religious strife among the Balinese intelligentsia come to a head, with an influential faction advocating a return to the Agama Hindu Bali.

The colonial era: Agama Bali Hindu vs. Agama Hindu Bali The island of Bali was one of the last regions of the Indonesian Archipelago to be colonized by the Dutch. Launched in 1846, its conquest was only completed in 1908. Yet, long before colonial administrators started to interfere with Balinese society, it had been imagined by Orientalists who regarded the island of Bali as a ‘living museum’ of Hindu-Javanese civilization, the one and only surviving heir to the Hindu heritage swept away from Java by the coming of Islam. In their view, inspired by their Balinese informants, Hindu religion had been brought to Bali in the fourteenth century by Javanese conquerors from Majapahit. When Majapahit fell to Islam at the turn of the sixteenth century, the Javanese nobility who refused to adopt the new faith fled to the courts of their cousins on Bali, where they nurtured the HinduJavanese civilization as a precious heirloom (Raffles 1817; Crawfurd 1820; van Hoëvell 1846; Friederich 1959).

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Grateful to the Balinese for having preserved Hindu texts and rituals from the depredations of Islam, Orientalists considered Hinduism the core of Balinese society, the guardian of its cultural integrity and the inspiration of its artistic manifestations. Accordingly, it had to be protected, through the enlightened paternalism of colonial tutelage, from the intrusion of Islam, which had strengthened its grip on the better part of the Archipelago, as well as from Christian missionaries, eager to set foot on the island. The conservative policy carried out in Bali by the colonial state was to have long-lasting consequences. For one thing, by looking for the singularity of Bali in its Hindu heritage, while conceiving of Balinese identity as formed through an opposition to Islam and Christianity, the Dutch established the framework within which the Balinese were going to define themselves. Furthermore, by attempting to preserve Bali’s singularity from the rest of the Indies, they ended up emphasizing it far more than they had ever envisioned, all the while turning it into a challenge for the Balinese. Despite the Dutch attempt to insulate Balinese society from disturbing foreign influences, Bali actually underwent rapid and profound changes as a result of increasing interference in native affairs by the colonial state (Vickers 1989; Schulte Nordholt 1986, 1994; Robinson 1995). In particular, the requirements of a modern administration were instrumental in the emergence of an indigenous intelligentsia, which were to mediate between the local population and their European rulers. These educated Balinese strove to make sense of the situation brought about by the opening up of their world to the advent of ‘modern times’. It was in Singaraja, a harbour town on the north coast of the island, which had become the seat of the colonial government in 1882, that an intellectual elite educated in Dutch schools founded the first Balinese modern organization in 1917, to counter a Javanese Islamic association (Sarekat Islam) which had recently opened a branch there. During the 1920s, several organizations were set up, which started publishing periodicals, a complete novelty for Bali, though already occurring elsewhere in the Indies at that time. Written in Malay, these publications were devoted chiefly to issues pertaining to religion and social order. The use of Malay, rather than Balinese, indicates that the intelligentsia were conscious of being an integral part of a larger entity, due to the incorporation of their island into the Dutch colonial state. Thus, the same process which prompted the Balinese to question their identity was dispossessing them of their own words, by inducing them to think about themselves in a language which was not their own but that used both by their fellow countrymen and by their colonial masters. Such a linguistic substitution indicated a reflexive distantiation from the Balinese universe of reference, which was becoming decontextualized, relativized and homogenized in the process. The few authors who have commented on these organizations have tended to stress the conflict opposing the commoners (jaba) to the nobility (triwangsa),1 expressed through their respective publications – Surya Kanta

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(1925–27) and Bali Adnjana (1924–30) – while construing that conflict in terms of a contest between the forces of progress and those of reaction (Dwipayana 2000; Agung 2001; Atmadja 2001). True, the polemic between Surya Kanta and Bali Adnjana concerned mainly ‘caste’ privileges, which had been aggravated by the colonial policy. Yet, one should be wary of focusing too much on this so-called ‘caste conflict’ (pertentangan kasta), at the risk of overlooking the fact that commoners and nobility shared a common concern for Balinese identity and were eager to preserve its foundations (Picard 1999b). In these publications, for the first time, the Balinese viewed themselves as a singular entity, as a ‘people’ (bangsa).2 Until then, their identities had been particularistic, in the sense that the Balinese identified themselves as members of a village, of a kinship group, or of a temple network, rather than as ‘Balinese’. Their collective identity, based on the awareness of sharing common characteristics and adhering to unifying symbols, started to take shape during the colonial period, when they attempted to define themselves as different from both the foreign colonizers and the other peoples of the Indies (Howe 2001: 8–9). As a specific people, the Balinese considered themselves both as a religious minority threatened by the agressive expansionism of Islam as well as of Christianity and as a particular ethnic group characterized by their own customs. More precisely, they construed their identity, which they called their ‘Balineseness’ (Kebalian), as being based simultaneously on agama and on adat. The very fact of the Balinese resorting to these terms to define their identity testifies to the conceptual shift occurring on the island after its takeover by an alien power. Adat is a word of Arabic origin, which reached Bali in the wake of the Islamization of the Indonesian Archipelago and whose meaning was laid down by the colonial administration. Taken over by the Balinese, the word adat replaced a diverse terminology for locally variable customs, which governed the relationships between social groups and sanctioned the sense of communal solidarity in the villages (Warren 1993: 4). The advent of this word in Bali entailed a twofold consequence. First, it created a new conceptual category, that of ‘tradition’, which initially was not contrasted with the category of ‘religion’ but with that of ‘administration’, with reference to that which came under the authority of the colonial state.3 Second, the incorporation of a miscellaneous assortment of local customs into this generic term altered their meaning for the Balinese: what had been, until then, an interplay of significant differences deliberately fostered between villages was becoming the locus of Balinese ethnic identity, in the sense of a customary body of inherited rules and institutions governing the lives of the Balinese people. As for the word agama, which is of Sanskrit origin, it has acquired in Indonesia a signification different both from the one it has in India and from the anthropological understanding of ‘religion’.4 By appropriating the word

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agama, the Balinese were attempting to promote their own religion to an equal standing with Islam and Christianity in order to stand up to their proselytism. Confronted with Muslim schoolteachers and Christian missionaries, the Balinese were challenged to formulate what exactly their religion was about. If both commoners and nobility shared a common reference to agama and adat as the foundations of Balinese identity, they held different opinions as to how their respective fields were connected, as well as to how Balinese religion related to Indian Hinduism. Whereas the triwangsa wished to strengthen both tradition and religion, the jaba wanted to reform agama while ridding adat of all the customs they deemed obsolete. Thus, for the former, Balinese religion was based on the traditional social order, within which agama was inseparable from adat, while for the latter, religion could and should be dissociated from a traditional order seen not only as unfair but also as an obstacle to progress. But whatever their views on the matter, it is significant that the commoners proved unable to discriminate between that which belongs to agama and that which pertains to adat. This should come as no surprise as in the Balinese language agama refers at once to ‘religion’ (agama), ‘law’ (hukum) and ‘customs’ (adat-istiadat) (Warna 1990: 7). Yet, the inability of the Balinese to dissociate agama from adat does not stem solely from the polysemy of these terms, but also from the fact that up until then the Balinese did not regard religion as a bounded field that could be demarcated from other aspects of their life. One could even say that it was not singled out as ‘religion’, in the sense of a set of beliefs and practices liable to be labelled with a specific name. Indeed, for the Balinese, adat partakes of a religious world-view, in the sense that it refers both to an immutable divine cosmic order and to the social order established accordingly by their ancestors, at once describing the ideal order and prescribing the behaviour required to achieve that order. This is to say that, despite the presence of Sanskrit words and ritual elements of Indian origin, Balinese religion is highly localized, as it consists of rites relating specific groups of people to one another, to their ancestors, and to their territory (Guermonprez 2001). Moreover, religion is a customary obligation for the Balinese, in the sense that participation in its rites comes with membership in a village, a kinship group, and a temple network. Accordingly, the Balinese are far more concerned with appropriate behaviour (orthopraxy) than with right belief (orthodoxy). Rather than something to be believed in, Balinese religion is something to be carried out. Thus, it is doubtful that religion was a boundary marker for the Balinese before they started viewing Islam and Christianity as a threat. Henceforth, the concern of the Balinese intelligentsia was to ensure that their religion could stand on a par with Islam and Christianity, and thus resist the thrust of their proselytism.5 They disagreed, however, as regards what should be done to strengthen their religion. According to Surya Kanta, the reason why some Balinese converted to Islam or to Christianity was that they did not really know their religion and

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were the unenlightened victims of ‘superstitions’ (takhyul), arising from the restrictions placed by the pedanda (the literate and initiated Brahmana priests) on their access to sacred knowledge contained in traditional palm-leaf manuscripts (lontar).6 As long as they contented themselves with blindly following the priests who led their ceremonies, without understanding the true significance of their rites, the Balinese would be easy prey to Muslim or Christian indoctrination. For Bali Adnjana, on the contrary, as long as the Balinese held firmly onto their religion and to their tradition, they were not likely to fall prey to another faith. Indeed, they had no reason to feel ashamed of their rites and beliefs, which did not suffer from a comparison with those of the Muslims or the Christians. If there was actually a problem, it resulted from the critical stance adopted by the Western-educated intellectuals towards their own religion, and in their ensuing intention to transform it as they thought fit. Viewed from this perspective, the controversy that erupted between the commoners and the nobility over the name that the Balinese religion should adopt makes perfect sense. In defending Agama Hindu Bali as the proper name, the triwangsa were trying to preserve the religious-cum-social order of yore, whereas in proposing to call their religion Agama Bali Hindu, the jaba were claiming that the Balinese were true followers of Hinduism. Hence the accusation frequently proffered by the nobility that the commoners aimed to promote a ‘pure’ (murni) form of Hinduism, like the one found in India, to which they opposed the argument that, according to the lontar, the Balinese religion originated not in India but in Majapahit. It was therefore the duty of the Balinese to remain faithful to the religion which their ancestors had bestowed on Bali when they had fled the propagation of Islam in Java after the fall of Majapahit. The tension between commoners and nobility receded in the late 1920s, thanks to the combined efforts of leading Balinese aristocrats and Dutch officials, who worked hard to defuse what they saw as a political threat. On the other hand, the polemic on the nature of the Balinese religion and the calls for its reform were to continue unabated until the Japanese invasion of the Archipelago in 1942. One finds echoes of this controversy in Djatajoe (1936–41), the periodical published by the cultural organization Bali Darma Laksana, founded in Singaraja by schoolteachers and civil servants, jaba as well as triwangsa (Picard 2008). The articles dealing with the religious Balinese identity attested to a noticeable confusion, due no longer solely to disagreement among the Balinese themselves, but to the fact that they were at a loss as to how to reply to accusations of paganism by foreigners – not only Indonesian Muslims but also Dutch administrators and missionaries. This was particularly the case of young Balinese studying outside the island, who did not know what to reply whenever they were asked about their religion. Some of them had already converted to Islam or Christianity, for fear of being branded as ‘idolatrous’ or ‘animists’ by their schoolmates. Faced with such a derogative opinion, the Balinese reformers would not cease to seek an agreement on the true nature of their religion and to codify

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its rites accordingly. At their first congress, held in 1937, the leaders of Bali Darma Laksana enlisted the help of a commission of pedanda and literati to compile a ‘Holy Book’ (Kitab Suci), which would represent for the Balinese what the Koran is to the Muslims.7 They felt that once the Balinese knew what their religion really was, they would be in a better position to defend it against accusations of heathenism by Muslims and Christians alike, and would be less tempted to embrace another faith. Unfortunately, three years later, the readers of Djatajoe were informed that the attempt at composing a Holy Book had failed. The reason given was that in Bali agama could not be divorced from adat, and adat differed from one kingdom to the next and from one village to another, hence the members of the commission could not agree on a religious canon valid for the whole island. The religion of the Balinese was not (yet) a religion of the Book.

The Republic of Indonesia: from Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu While the first generation of Balinese intellectuals fell short of coming to an agreement on the question of how Agama Bali was related to adat, on the one hand, and to Agama Hindu, on the other, their debates had nonetheless prepared the Balinese to confront the pressures imposed upon their religious identity once their island had become part of the Republic of Indonesia. Contrary to what has been asserted by some foreign analysts (e.g. Bakker 1993), in my opinion, what happened during the colonial period is not simply that the former unity of religion and tradition had started to disintegrate due to the opening up of Balinese society, as these conceptual categories were intrinsically alien and had to be construed by the Balinese for their own purposes. It is not even, as Balinese academics would have it, that the Balinese had taken refuge in their religion, after having been shaken by the colonial occupation of their island, and threatened by the ensuing Muslim and Christian proselytism. Rather, I think, it was the conjunction of two distinct processes of differentiation which ended up in the formation of the categories of agama and adat: on the one hand, the Dutch-enforced separation between religious tradition and colonial administration, and on the other, the growing urge to dissociate religion from tradition on the part of the Balinese reformers. Hence, by giving rise to a sharper contrast between ‘us’ and ‘them’, the colonial confrontation not only led the Balinese to conceive a notion of themselves as a unitary entity – a ‘people’ – but it also contributed to a further drawing of boundaries between hitherto conceptually undifferentiated domains within Balinese society. This conceptual separation of agama and adat had in fact actually started when Balinese reformers were attempting to find a name for their religion, thereby initiating a process of objectification of religion as a separate field of action and thought. Yet, if the Dutch had de-politicized adat by dissociating political power from customary authority, religion remained merged with tradition in the colonial period. Once they had become Indonesian citizens,

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the Balinese would be compelled to distinguish explicitly between religion and tradition: in order for their rites to accede to the status of agama, they had to be detached from what was considered as belonging to the domain of adat. While the 1945 Constitution guaranteed the Indonesian citizens the freedom to profess and to practise their own religion, the Ministry of Religion endeavoured to restrict the legal acceptation of acknowledged religions, in conformity with the Islamic view of what qualifies as a legitimate agama. Thus, the Ministry of Religion stipulated the following conditions for a religion to be recognized: it must be monotheistic, have a codified system of law for its followers, possess a holy book and a prophet, enjoy international recognition and, further, its congregation should not be limited to a single ethnic group. According to these conditions, the Balinese did not profess a proper ‘religion’ (agama) but possessed only ‘beliefs’ (kepercayaan), which not only were limited to their island, but did not even form a coherent and unified ensemble valid for the whole island. In this sense, Balinese religion was considered to belong to the domain of adat and not to that of agama. Consequently, if the Balinese did not want to become the target of Muslim or Christian proselytizing, they had no other recourse than to reform their religion in order to make it eligible for the status of agama. The first question to be settled was for the Balinese to agree on the name of their religion. In response to the Balinese government’s request for the recognition of the Balinese religion, the Minister of Religion came to Bali in 1950 to inquire about the religious situation on the island. He was received by I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa, who was in charge of religious and cultural matters at the Regional Government Council. Questioned about the name of the religion professed by the Balinese, that of its God and of its holy book, the purpose of its ceremonies and the theological tenets of its creed, Sugriwa did not succeed in convincing the minister of the legitimacy of the Balinese religion (Sugriwa 1973: 6–8). In 1952, a meeting was convened with representatives of the main religious organizations on the island in order to reach an agreement on the Balinese religion. At the conclusion of that meeting, Balinese religion was officially given the name Agama Hindu Bali – that is, the name which had been advocated by the triwangsa back in the 1920s. In the past, the Balinese had no generic name to designate that which would later on become their ‘religion’. Once they had adopted the word agama, they started referring to their religion simply as Agama Bali. It is only after some Balinese had converted to Islam or Christianity that the name Hindu Bali became customary, in order to distinguish the Balinese Hindu religion from Islam Bali or Kristen Bali. But before it was officially adopted as the name of the Balinese religion, Hindu Bali was just one name among many.8 Although they had even more names to refer to their supreme deity, the Balinese appeared to have concurred rather easily on the name Sang Hyang Widhi as an equivalent of the Indonesian Tuhan Yang Maha Esa, the One and Only God of the Constitution.9 They had more trouble agreeing on their

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holy book, wavering between the Mahabharata and the Veda, which were finally retained, despite the fact that they had not been known in Bali before the twentieth century. As for their prophet, after some attempt to choose Bagawan Biasa – the mythical compiler of the Veda and the Mahabharata – Balinese reformers seem to have thought that Hinduism neither had a prophet nor needed one. However, although the Balinese religious leaders had finally reached agreement among themselves as to what their religion really was, they had not yet convinced the Ministry of Religion of the legitimacy of their religion. Consequently, in the following years, the Balinese kept pressing the Ministry to recognize their religion, while a number of new reformist religious organizations were making their appearance on the island. Whereas some religious leaders were looking for the seeds of regeneration in their own indigenous traditions, young Balinese who were studying in India urged their coreligionists to come back to the fold of Hinduism, which they presented as the source of their rites. Stressing the theological significance as well as the ethical implications of religion, they attempted to restrain the ritualistic propensity of their co-religionists, while reinterpreting their Hindu-Javanese heritage in reference to Islamic and Christian doctrines and institutions. It was only on 5 September 1958, as a result of a vigorous mobilization of all the religious organizations on the island – and thanks to the support of President Sukarno, whose mother was Balinese – that a Hindu Bali section was officially established within the Ministry of Religion, a few weeks after Bali had become a fully fledged province of the Republic of Indonesia. But the Balinese had yet to wait until 1963 for the Hindu Bali section to become the ‘Bureau of the Balinese Hindu Religion’ (Biro Urusan Agama Hindu Bali), thereby acknowledging their religion as a legitimate agama (Picard forthcoming). The next step was to decide who should be in charge of the Agama Hindu Bali, now that the kings of yore, who were the former patrons of the religious ceremonies on the island, had been replaced by the Republican government. After numerous meetings and debates, on 23 February 1959, representatives from the main religious organizations established in Denpasar a representative body, the Parisada Dharma Hindu Bali (PDHB),10 charged with the task of coordinating all the religious activities of the ‘Balinese Hindu community’ (umat Hindu Bali), by ‘regulating, fostering and developing the Balinese Hindu religion’ (mengatur, memupuk dan memperkembangkan Agama Hindu Bali) (PHD 1970: 11). Over the years, the Parisada overshadowed the various religious organizations which had been involved in its foundation, and which were being marginalized when they were not simply eliminated. Composed of a Council of Priests (Pesamuhan Sulinggih) and of a Council of Laymen (Pesamuhan Welaka), assisted by an Executive Board (Pengurus Harian), the Parisada was controlled by triwangsa, and particularly by Brahmana. Even though it was chaired by a pedanda (the head of the Council of Priests), its initiators and

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leaders were intellectuals, with a Western or an Indian education, and one found in its ranks a number of officials and academics. It is significant that the pedanda, who wield the highest authority in religious matters on Bali, were in the rearguard of the religious reform, when they were not frankly hostile to it. And they were readily criticized by the reformers inasmuch as they confined themselves to conducting rituals instead of becoming spiritual leaders, following the example of Christian priests and Muslim ulama. This being said, their support proved to be crucial to the intellectuals in order for their initiatives to be approved. With the backing and the subsidies of the provincial government, the Parisada undertook to compile a theological canon (Panca Çraddha),11 publish a Hindu catechism (PHD 1967), standardize religious rites, formalize the priesthood and provide religious instruction to the population – all this amounting to a ‘scripturalization’ of Balinese religion, a shift of focus from ritual to text. Unlike the kings, who merely interceded on behalf of their subjects, the Parisada now tells the Balinese what to believe as well as to how to practise their religion. In the words of Margaret Wiener: It is in assuming the power to interpret texts – to establish doctrine – and to standardize its interpretations in the form of ritual procedures to be followed throughout the island of Bali as a whole, that Parisada’s hegemony differs so radically from the earlier one. (1990: 15) While the name Agama Hindu Bali implied a clear recognition of the distinctive ethnic component of the Balinese Hindu religion, it would subsequently be replaced by the more inclusive name Agama Hindu. The move from Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu has not been documented, unfortunately, and today opinions diverge as to how and why it came about. Some of my Balinese informants assumed that the Ministry of Religion had put pressure upon the Parisada to universalize. The fact is that the national parliament had specified in 1960 that only acknowledged ‘world religions’ would deserve government legitimation (Ketetapan MPRS no. 2, 1960). According to others, on the contrary, it was not the Ministry which compelled the Balinese to substitute Agama Hindu for Agama Hindu Bali, but the Balinese reformers themselves who urged the Ministry to recognize Agama Hindu as a universal religion in no way circumscribed to Bali. Be that as it may, in the early 1960s, the growing presence of Balinese communities outside of their own island enabled the Parisada to extend its influence to other regions in the Archipelago. Cut off from their temple networks as well as from their deified ancestors, these Balinese migrants needed a delocalized religion which they could carry away with them. In these circumstances, a debate emerged as to the proper name for the Balinese religion among the Parisada leaders, some of whom – mostly those who had studied in India as well as those who were living in Jakarta, such as Ida Bagus

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Mantra, Tjokorda Rai Sudharta, Ida Bagus Oka Punyatmadja and Ida Bagus Gde Dosther – advocated giving up the exclusive ethnic flavour of the label Hindu Bali in favour of the more inclusive Hindu Dharma, in order to strengthen the position of their religion vis-à-vis Islam and Christianity within Indonesia. Despite the opposition of prominent Balinese religious leaders – headed by I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa-, taking into account the fact that ‘the Parisada is present not only in Bali and is not limited to the sole Balinese people’ (Dana 2005: 6), at its first congress (mahasabha), in 1964, the Parisada Dharma Hindu Bali changed its name to Parisada Hindu Dharma (PHD), thus forsaking any reference to its Balinese origins. And when, the following year, President Sukarno named the religions that were to qualify for official recognition, it was Agama Hindu and not Agama Hindu Bali that was retained (Surat Penpres No. 1 tahun 1965).

The New Order: disjunction between the Balinese religious and ethnic identities Thus it is that, through their struggle to obtain the recognition of their religion, the Balinese have come to define their ethnic identity in terms of Agama Hindu. But it is precisely from the moment they identified themselves most explicitly as a Hindu island in a sea of Islam that one can date the premises of a disjunction between the Balinese religious and ethnic identities. This is because their identification of ethnicity and religion would soon be foiled by a twofold process: on the one hand, the affiliation of other Indonesian ethnic groups with Agama Hindu has tended to dissociate it from the Balinese, while on the other hand, the fragmentation of the religious landscape on their island rendered the link between religion and ethnicity ever more problematic for the Balinese. The New Order established by General Suharto launched a policy aimed at assuaging the religious aspirations of the Muslim community while preventing the Islamic parties from meddling in public affairs. By depoliticizing Islam, this strategy was to end in Islamizing Indonesian society. Throughout that period, Agama Hindu would remain the primary marker of Balinese public identity, all the while growing ever more distant from its Balinese origins. On the one hand, by heightening the Balinese awareness of their vulnerability as a religious minority, the rise of Islam in Indonesia drove them to close ranks under the banner of Agama Hindu, which characterizes the Balinese people as a non-Muslim and non-Christian minority within the Indonesian multi-religious nation. This official version of Balinese religion – deterritorialized and individualized, where the focus is on orthodoxy to the detriment of orthopraxy – bears little resemblance to everyday rites in houseyard and village temples. Yet, it appears that the gap between actual Balinese religious practices and the normative definition of Balinese religion has been progressively narrowing down. This is the result of the increasing organizational efficiency of the Parisada, which allowed its instructions,

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endorsed by the state apparatus, in particular by the education system, and conveyed by the media, to penetrate Balinese society at village level. But on the other hand, while spreading into the Balinese society, Agama Hindu, once expressly detached from any ethnic reference, was no longer the property of the sole Balinese people. As it happens, its recognition brought to it new recruits in the wake of the anti-communist massacres of 1965–66, which provoked the ‘conversion’ to Agama Hindu of Javanese abangan for fear of being branded as ‘atheists’, an accusation synonymous with ‘communists’ in Indonesia (Howell 1977; Lyon 1977).12 In the following years, the Balinese and Javanese Hindus were joined by several ethnic minorities, who took refuge in the Hindu fold hoping to be allowed to conserve their ancestral rites, Agama Hindu being reputedly more accommodating in this respect than Christianity or Islam.13 The diffusion of Agama Hindu outside of Bali continued to such an extent that the Balinese were at risk of losing control of the religion that they had themselves established.14 But what appeared to some Balinese as a dispossession of their own religion was perceived by other Indonesian Hindus as a Balinese ‘colonization’. Hence a tension, affecting the Balinese themselves, between the Balinization of the religious practices of various ethnic groups affiliated with Agama Hindu and the Indonesianization of the Balinese religion aiming at detaching it from its ethnic origins. It did not take long for this tension to affect the Parisada itself. After having opened a branch in every province of the country, the PHD became at the time of its 5th national congress, in 1986, the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI), while for the first time a Hindu of non-Balinese origin was appointed to its Executive Board. By the same token, a regional branch was opened in Bali, the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia Propinsi Bali. The Indonesianization of what had initially been the organ of Balinese religion was reaffirmed in 1991, when the Parisada held its 6th congress in Jakarta instead of in Bali, as had been the case up until then. The proceedings of this congress focused on the question of transferring the Parisada’s seat to the national capital, a proposal advocated by the majority of regional delegates in order to place Agama Hindu on an equal footing with the other official religions by freeing it from the restrictive bonds which still tied it to Bali. Balinese delegates managed to veto the decision, but they could not prevent the secretariat being moved to Jakarta. And they were finally over-ruled at the time of the 7th congress, held in Surakarta, Java, in 1996, which decided to relocate the Parisada’s headquarters (PHDI Pusat) to Jakarta, so that there would only remain in Bali the PHDI Propinsi Bali. Also, at the conclusion of that congress, two Javanese priests (out of 11) were appointed to the Council of Priests. During the 1990s, the Islamic resurgence in Indonesia aroused the concern of the Balinese over their religious identity and triggered in mimetic fashion a ‘Hindu revival’ (kebangkitan Hindu) (Setia 1993). This revival was manifested in a spate of textual editions and translations of Hindu scriptures, as well as

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in the emergence of new religious organizations, taking the institutional form of NGOs (lembaga swadaya masyarakat) or foundations (yayasan), both in Bali and in Jakarta. Above all, it resulted in a fragmentation of the Balinese religious identity. It seems that, from then on, neither the traditional religion, attached to the correct execution of the rites, nor its official version, concerned with ethics and theology, were able to satisfy a growing fraction of the Balinese middle class, in quest of religious devotion and personal conviction as well as of universalism. Thus it is that, in the wake of the Parisada’s 6th congress in 1991 – and only a few months after the creation of the very influential Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (Ikatan Cendekiawan Muslim Indonesia, ICMI) – a group of Balinese, commoners for the most part, founded in Jakarta the Forum of Indonesian Hindu Intellectuals (Forum Cendekiawan Hindu Indonesia, FCHI) (Setia 1992). In 1993, they published the magazine Aditya (which became Raditya in 1995), in order to diffuse their ideas in the Indonesian Hindu community. They applied themselves to fighting various prejudices highly detrimental to Agama Hindu: that the Hindus are idolatrous, that they are divided into ‘castes’ (kasta),15 that Hinduism is not a revealed religion (agama wahyu) in the same way as Islam or Christianity, and especially that it is the religion of the sole Balinese people. Advocating a perspective at once universalist, individualistic and egalitarian, the FCHI’s leaders were critical of the Parisada, whom they accused of being more a pressure group made up of conservative members of the Balinese nobility than a genuine religious body, as well as of promoting a traditionalist conception of Agama Hindu, still very much affected by its original Balinese parochialism (Bagus 2004). The fact is that, while the Parisada had been initially inspired by Indian Neo-Hinduism, the bureaucratization of religion during the New Order, as well as the predominance of the triwangsa, had led it to adopt a stance which became more and more conservative and exclusive over the years, as witnessed by the reluctance of its leadership to move to Jakarta. The FCHI was not the only place where one found such criticisms. They were being voiced also by two socio-religious movements which pursue distinct aims but whose actors stem from the same milieux – the warga and the sampradaya. Whereas the first movement reveals the Balinese people’s concern with their indigenous roots, the second attests their eagerness to rise above the boundaries of their own island in order to adhere to a transnational Hinduism. The warga movement has resumed the struggle of the commoners against the privileges of the nobility, initiatied in the 1920s by Surya Kanta (Kerepun 2007). After Indonesia’s independence, several jaba title groups had set up formal organizations, commonly called warga, uniting all the members of a kinship group (soroh) who consider themselves as the descendants of a common ancestor, be it real or mythical, whom they venerate in a ‘temple of origin’ (pura kawitan). Their aim was to have their rights acknowledged against the triwangsa’s prerogatives, and specifically to abrogate the monopoly of the pedanda over the initiated priesthood (Pitana 1999).16 Under the

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pressure of the warga, the Parisada had decreed in 1968, during its 2nd congress, that all Hindus were entitled to undergo the ordination rite to the initiated priesthood and further, that all duly initiated priests had the same status and were all equally qualified to officiate at the same ceremonies. This decree, however, had not settled the matter as, despite the Parisada’s official position, some of its leaders continued to defend the exclusive privileges of the pedanda. While supporting the demand of the warga for their priests to be allowed to officiate on a par with the pedanda, the intellectuals gathered in the reformist Hindu organizations were no longer satisfied with a nationally recognized religion but aspired to universalize their religious identity by breaking the ties between Agama Hindu and Agama Bali. They initiated a renewed turn towards India, manifested in the promotion of Indian concepts and practices, such as vegetarianism or the performance of the revived Vedic ritual Agnihotra. Pilgrimages (tirta yatra) were organized to the holy sites of India, where the Indonesian Hindus were urged to look for their religious sources, in the manner of the Muslims going on pilgrimage to Mecca. Furthermore, they introduced the motto ‘Back to the Veda’,17 after the fashion of Dayananda Sarasvati, the founder of the Arya Samaj – although most Balinese quoting this rallying cry do not appear to be aware of its origin and have plainly very little notion of what the Veda really are. Most of all, the rapprochement with India in the 1990s was marked by the progressive establishment in Indonesia of the main Indian devotional movements (sampradaya) (Jendra 2007). Until then, the contacts between Indonesian Hinduism and India had been rather limited. It was only in response to the Islamic resurgence in the Archipelago that the Indonesian Hindus from the urbanized middle classes started to perceive themselves as belonging to a transnational religious community and that they turned towards India for guidance. They were soon to realize that Hinduism was far from being a unitary religion, and they came across the sampradaya which had reached a world audience, such as Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Hare Krishna, Ananda Marga, Brahma Kumaris, Transcendental Meditation, Divine Life Society, and Art of Living, not to mention various groups inspired by Gandhi’s teachings. The propagation of these movements in Indonesia has met with some opposition from the Ministry of Religion as much as from the Parisada, even though a number of their leaders hold important positions in both institutions. While the affiliation to a sampradaya is expected to enable Hindus to deepen the teachings of their religion by fostering ‘spirituality’ (kerohanian), on the other hand, the religious authorities fear the rise of conflicts between rival sects. This could only undermine a Hindu community already weakened by the diversity of its ethnic origins.

The time of Reformasi: the return to Agama Hindu Bali The resignation of President Suharto in 1998 entailed a major political restructuring, while unleashing centrifugal forces in the regions. It opened up

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an era of ‘reform’ (Reformasi), marked by a spate of cultural, ethnic and religious identity politics, as well as by severe social turmoil. The downturn in the Indonesian economy, following the 1997 financial crisis, increased the influx to Bali of Jakarta-based investors and migrant workers from Java, attracted by the prosperity generated by tourism. The coming in droves of Muslim labourers and petty traders in search of employment sowed the seeds of ethnic and religious discrimination on the island, whose population was becoming more and more heterogeneous. The increasingly conspicuous presence of Muslim newcomers was compounded by the politicization of Indonesian Islam. This threat, which would take a fatal turn with the bombings of 2002 and 2005, gave rise to a proliferation of new Hindu organizations, together with a profusion of publications on the Balinese identity, which revealed the anxiety of a society threatened in its structure as well as in its self-image (Couteau 2002). The ensuing upheaval underscored the strife tearing the Balinese intelligentsia apart regarding the predicament of Agama Hindu in Indonesia, pitting an orientation focusing on Bali (keBali-Balian) against one focused on India (keIndia-Indiaan). This strife, which had been building up for years, would come to a head during the Parisada’s 8th national congress, held on 20–24 September 2001 in Bali. Emboldened by the new wind of freedom, critical Hindu intellectuals had pinned their hopes on the oncoming congress and were calling for a true ‘Parisada Reformasi’, free from the political control which prevailed during the New Order period. The congress was prepared by several regional seminars, which came up with the idea of reshuffling the Parisada’s leadership. In order to ensure a more democratic outcome, in conformity with the current spirit of reform, the Parisada’s leaders would be elected directly by the congress and no longer be appointed by ad hoc committees, so as to avoid manipulations and pressures, as well as putting an end to the continuing domination by the Balinese nobility. Besides, the various Hindu NGOs and foundations, as well as the warga and sampradaya, which had been held in suspicion during the New Order, should now be given full recognition as an integral part of the Parisada. Furthermore, the Parisada should no longer limit its role to issuing ‘instructions’ (bhisama, understood as the equivalent of Islamic fatwa), but it should take an active part in leading the Hindu community of Indonesia and defending it against any offence or attack from hostile quarters. The Parisada Bali did not take part in the preparatory seminar held on Bali in May 2001, because its leaders disagreed with the presence therein of representatives of NGOs, foundations, warga, and sampradaya. In July, the Parisada Bali convened its own seminar and expressly opposed the admission of these various organizations into the Parisada. However, the steering committee formally invited to the congress their representatives as fully fledged participants and no longer as mere observers as had been the case until then. Since its inception, the Parisada had been chaired by the head of the Council of Priests, who had always been a pedanda. With the backing of most

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regional delegations, and despite the opposition of the Parisada Bali, the 8th congress decided that henceforth the Parisada would be chaired by the head of its Executive Board – that is, by a layman – so as to increase its efficiency as well as to prevent a pedanda from becoming involved in mundane matters. The Parisada’s statutes and its organization chart were accordingly modified, with a 33-strong Council of Priests (Sabha Pandita) occupying the highest position, a 55-strong Council of Laymen (Sabha Walaka), and a 15-strong Executive Board (Pengurus Harian). The Parisada Bali objected to the decisions adopted by the national congress, most of all to the nomination of a layman at the Parisada’s chairmanship, not to mention the notable presence in its leadership of non-Balinese (the General Secretary was now a Javanese), as well as of prominent members of NGOs, foundations, warga and – especially – sampradaya. Its leaders set about preparing their own congress (lokasabha), the 4th one since the foundation of the Parisada Bali in 1986. When it became clear that this regional congress would not abide by the newly established statutes, leaders from the central Parisada (Parisada Pusat) attempted various manoeuvres with the aim of preventing the Parisada Bali from holding its congress. But these manoeuvres were of no avail, and on 23 November 2001, the Parisada Bali convened its own regional congress at Campuan, in Ubud, under the aegis of the Governor of Bali and with the backing of the local princely house (Puri Ubud), a stronghold of Golkar (PHDI Propinsi Bali 2001). The venue for the congress was the Pura Gunung Lebah, a historical temple associated with Rsi Markandeya, the eighth-century legendary priest from East Java who is credited with establishing Hinduism in Bali. Moreover, it was there that 40 years earlier, on the same day, one of the main documents in the Parisada’s history, the Campuan Charter (Piagam Campuan) had been signed. Accusing the national leadership of undermining Balinese culture by unduly Indianizing Agama Hindu, the conveners expressly refused the admission of the sampradaya into the Parisada and pressed for the nomination of a pedanda at the Parisada’s chairmanship.18 The following day, the Parisada Pusat convened an emergency meeting in Jakarta, and on 7 December formally stated that it would not acknowledge the Campuan congress on grounds of violating the organization’s new statutes. In retaliation, the newly appointed leadership of the Parisada Bali declared that it no longer recognized the Parisada Pusat, since the statutes issued by the 8th national congress did not conform to the organization’s original statutes. At the same time, several of the Parisada’s historical founders publicly resigned from the Parisada Pusat. Having disowned the Parisada Campuan, the Parisada Pusat then convened – also with the backing of the Governor, and despite the opposition of seven regency Parisada (Parisada Kabupaten) out of nine – a competing regional congress on 29 March 2002 at the Pura Besakih. This is another site with a highly symbolic value, as it is the main sanctuary on the island, representing to all intents and purposes the community of Indonesian Hindus

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in its entirety. After the Parisada Besakih had duly ratified the decisions of the 8th national congress, it was officially acknowledged on 27 May by the Parisada Pusat as the one and only Parisada Bali (Dwikora 2002). Meanwhile, the Parisada Campuan had been lobbying – without success – to convene an ‘extraordinary congress’ (mahasabha luar biasa) with the aim of revoking the 8th congress. Stressing the distinctive character of Agama Hindu in Bali, its leadership announced that the Balinese branch of the Parisada would change its name from Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia Bali to Parisada Hindu Dharma Bali Indonesia, with the declared purpose of ‘preserving the integrity of the Hindu religion as it has been inherited in Bali’ (menjaga keutuhan Agama Hindu yang diwarisi di Bali) (Bali Post, 13 March 2002). This change of name did not in fact materialize, and for the next five years there were two competing Parisada Bali, respectively known as Parisada Besakih and Parisada Campuan.19 Each Parisada Bali would claim to be the legitimate representative of the Balinese Hindu community, while attempting to enlist the support of both the provincial authorities and the Balinese people for their respective positions. Whereas the Parisada Besakih had the backing of the various Hindu NGOs and foundations, of the warga and the sampradaya, of the intelligentsia stemming from the urbanized middle class, as well as of the Balinese established outside their island, on the other hand, the Parisada Campuan was unquestionably more in touch with the village population. As for the Governor, for the head of the provincial office of the Ministry of Religion (Kakanwil Departemen Agama Propinsi Bali), as well as for the Director of Hinduism and Buddhism at the Ministry of Religion (Dirjen Bimas Hindu dan Buddha Departemen Agama RI), while maintaining a façade of official neutrality, they were repeatedly accused by the Parisada Besakih of being partial to the Parisada Campuan. Every now and then, calls were addressed to the feuding factions, attempting to bring them to the negotiation table, but the impending reconciliation never occurred. Seeing no end to the dispute, some prominent public intellectuals declared that the Parisada, which had lost much of its former lustre in the eyes of the Balinese, should be disbanded altogether, in order to start anew on sounder foundations. Be that as it may, it does not appear that the religious situation on Bali was in the least affected by the competition between the two Parisada Bali, which remained a matter of concern for only a tiny elite. As the next Parisada congress was drawing near, calls for a reconciliation became more pressing. The general expectation was that the congress would provide a welcome opportunity to settle the Balinese controversy. With a view to facilitating the rapprochement, the steering committee, infiltrated by followers of the Parisada Campuan, invited its chairman – Ida Pedanda Gede Made Gunung – to the congress, despite the opposition of the Parisada Besakih, while openly challenging the validity of the decisions taken by the 8th congress. In the end, this revisionist stance failed, and the 9th national congress, held on 14–18 October 2006 in Jakarta, did not even put the

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problems confronting the Balinese Parisada on the agenda, since, as far as the conveners were concerned, the sole official Parisada Bali was the one the Parisada Pusat had acknowledged, thus settling the matter once and for all (PHDI 2006). It transpired that Ida Pedanda Gede Made Gunung, the most popular pedanda in Bali at the time, had hoped to win over the delegates to the national congress to elect him as the new chairman of the Parisada Pusat. This expectation had been shattered when he found out that he would not even be granted the right to vote. He seems to have been very piqued at this affront, and some Balinese observers attribute the decision of the Parisada Campuan to radicalize its position to his disappointment. Ever mindful of potent symbols, the Parisada Campuan convened its 5th congress on 28 January 2007 at the Pura Samuan Tiga, in Bedulu (PDHB 2007). This is where, in the eleventh century, the legendary East Javanese priest Mpu Kuturan is said to have merged the nine religious sects operating on the island into three – Siwa, Buda and Waisnawa – and to have laid down the canonical corpus of the Balinese religion. The congress issued the Samuan Tiga Charter (Piagam Samuan Tiga), which determined to return to the ‘true self ’ (jati diri) of the Balinese religion – that is, to Agama Hindu Bali. By the same token, the delegates decided to revert to the name originally chosen by their founding fathers and renamed themselves the Parisada Dharma Hindu Bali (PDHB), thus formally ending the dualism within the Parisada Bali (Pemecutan 2007).20 After such a coup, the congress of the official Parisada Bali, held on 29 April 2007, went almost unnoticed. As far as I could assess, the return to the Agama Hindu Bali was not addressed by the delegates. Yet, for the Parisada Bali, it is painfully clear that this is a most unfortunate regression. In the eyes of its opponents, the PDHB appears to be the latest manifestation of the despicable ‘feudal’ leanings evinced by the old guard of the Balinese nobility compromised with the Golkar, particularly in evidence among the Brahmana eager to preserve the pedanda’s monopoly on the initiated priesthood. Construing the difference between the PHDI and the PDHB as one between reason and tradition, these reformist intellectuals view their own struggle against those bygone remnants of the past as a resurgence of the ‘caste conflict’ of the 1920s, pitting the progressive commoners of Surya Kanta against the conservative nobility represented by Bali Adnjana. It is true that the similarities between the position of the PDHB and that exposed in Bali Adnjana are striking, starting with the very name given to the Balinese religion. Thus, one finds in the statements of the PDHB’s leaders the same reference to the ‘ancestral religion’ (agama leluhur) and to the legacy of Majapahit which was already in evidence in Bali Adnjana. Furthermore, for some of its advocates, at least, the return to Agama Hindu Bali clearly appears a yearning for the religious-cum-social order of yore, when agama was deemed to be inseparable from adat. Yet, for all that, I think there is much more to the creation of the PDHB than a religious cover-up of more

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mundane ambitions. Rather than being just a bunch of diehard reactionaries, the promoters of the Agama Hindu Bali are deliberately reversing the process of universalization of the Balinese religion followed so far by endeavouring to relocalize their religion.21 In so doing, they are displaying a heightened sense of Balinese empowerment, something which could not have been possible under the New Order regime. In many ways, the advocacy of Agama Hindu Bali is consonant with the reaffirmation of Balinese identity expressed in the Ajeg Bali movement, with which PDHB’s exponents are prone to align themselves.22 Indeed, the report issued at the outcome of the Samuan Tiga congress states that the mission imparted to the PDHB is to uphold the Hindu religion as bequeathed by the Balinese ancestors (Ajeg Agama Hindu warisan nenek moyang di Bali) (PDHB 2007: 38). And the fact is that the objections of the PHDI’s supporters to the PDHB are closely akin to their disapproval of the slogan Ajeg Bali, inasmuch as its advocates are fostering Balinese cultural and ethnic identity to the detriment of Hinduism. Thus, according to the chief editor of the Hindu magazine Raditya, Putu Setia, if the purpose of Ajeg Bali is to preserve Balinese culture, then it concerns Muslim and Christian Balinese as much as it does Hindu Balinese. If this is the case, Bali is doomed to meet the same fate as Java after the fall of Majapahit under the pressure of Islam, when the Javanese held on to their culture while discarding their religion. On the other hand, if the aim is to curb the coming of Muslim migrants and to limit the construction of mosques on the island, Ajeg Hindu should be promoted instead. Indeed, as long as the Agama Hindu is alive in Bali, the Balinese culture will be resilient as well, as Balinese culture finds its source in Hinduism (Setia 2004). More specifically, the debates between supporters and opponents of the PDHB revolve around the Samuan Tiga Charter (PDHB 2007: 53). According to this document, the Agama Hindu Bali is founded on the Weda as interpreted and adapted by the ‘local genius’ (kearifan lokal) in the Balinese lontar. It is easy for the reformists to point out that the contents of the lontar do not constitute a coherent and comprehensive repository of theology, mostly dealing as they are with minute instructions for specific rituals, not to mention the fact that they differ widely from one another. In these conditions, they insist that it would make more sense to go back to the Indian Veda themselves rather than according much credit to the motley assortment of their local interpretations. Few would go as far as to admit publicly that the Balinese Weda have nothing to do with the Indian Veda, which had never been known in Bali. Yet, some of my informants, from both factions, acknowledged that the recurrent reference to the Veda is due to the obligation imposed by the Ministry of Religion for the Balinese to have a holy book, and that its main purpose is to provide a welcome foil against Muslim and Christian pressures. Another contentious point is the claim that the creed of the Agama Hindu Bali is Shaivite (Siwa Tatwa), and further, that it is monistic (Eka Twa Aneka Twa Swa Laksana Bhatara), which contravenes the obligation for Indonesian

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citizens to adhere to a monotheistic religion, in conformity with the strictly dualistic monotheism of Islam – a point which has curiously not provoked much controversy as far as I could determine. Just as subversive is the declaration that, besides the officially recognized appellation Sang Hyang Widhi, God should be referred to as Bhatara Siwa, Dewa Dewi, and Hyang Leluhur (‘Deified Ancestors’), which smacks of polytheism and ancestor worship. The other points of the Samuan Tiga Charter refer to the specifically Balinese socio-cultural context of religious practices, with their focus on altars (sanggah/pemerajan), temples (pura), and offerings (banten). This has led critics to ask, rhetorically, how the Balinese people are expected to practise their religion whenever they find themselves away from their island. Basically, then, reformist intellectuals accuse the PDHB of promoting an exclusivist religion, confined by the parochialism of the Balinese culture, instead of truly embracing Agama Hindu as a universal religion. While the comments of the PHDI’s supporters are rather predictable, it is much more difficult to delineate the position of the PDHB’s exponents, who appear more reluctant than their opponents to debate their stance. When one discusses with leaders of the PDHB, one realizes that their interpretation of the return to Agama Hindu Bali is far from being univocal. If for some of my informants, it clearly is a way to condone traditional Balinese religious practices, there are others for whom the Agama Hindu Bali is not limited to the Balinese people, but is in fact the true ancestral religion of the Indonesian Hindus and, consequently, it ought to become the model of Agama Hindu in Indonesia. Such is actually the official position of the PDHB, as revealed by the head of its Executive Board, Ida Bagus Putu Sudarsana. According to him, in the syntagm Agama Hindu Bali, ‘Bali’ does not refer to an island, nor to an ethnic group, but it signifies ‘offering’ (banten).23 In this respect, the Agama Hindu Bali is the religion of those Hindus who make use of offerings to worship Sang Hyang Widhi and His manifestations. Taking into account that the Agama Hindu in Indonesia is differentiated according to its regional cultural specificities, the PDHB calls for the setting-up of a series of regional Parisada, such as the Parisada Dharma Hindu Jawa, the Parisada Dharma Hindu Tengger, the Parisada Dharma Hindu Kaharingan, and so forth, all of them placed under the national coordination of the Parisada Dharma Hindu Indonesia (Sudarsana 2007).24 From this perspective, the advent of the PDHB can be seen as an offshoot of the regional autonomy which succeeded the centralism of the New Order, even though, according to the 1999 laws on Regional Autonomy, religion still falls under the authority of the central government. This decentralization of Agama Hindu in Indonesia does not stop at the provincial level but goes down to the level of the regencies, as witnessed by the decision taken by the leaders of the PHDI Kota Denpasar at the time of its congress, on 14 February 2008, to change its name to the PDHB Kota Denpasar. According to the PDHB’s leadership, other regency level PDHB followed suit shortly after.

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Be that as it may, it is clear that the return to Agama Hindu Bali is much more than a withdrawal into Balinese parochialism – it is an attempt on the part of Balinese religious leaders to re-appropriate their religion by taking over the direction of the Parisada, which had escaped them since the 1990s (Sudharta and Surpha 2006). The crux of the matter is indeed the displacement of the Parisada’s centre of gravity from Bali to Jakarta, the increasing ascendancy of non-Balinese over its leadership, and its inclusion of the sampradaya and other Indianized organizations aiming to get rid of traditional Balinese religious practices. Supporters of the PDHB are prone to mention their irritation at the attempts by members of sampradaya to erase age-old religious traditions in order to force their own rites upon the Balinese people. It is noticeable that several prominent figures from the PHDI, including some who had initiated the move from Agama Hindu Bali to Agama Hindu, back in the early 1960s, such as Tjokorda Rai Sudharta and Ida Bagus Gde Dosther, have gone over to the PDHB, as if after all these years they had been utterly disappointed with the pursuit of an elusive ‘universal religion’ and had found more relief in a return to their own roots.

Conclusion The recognition of the Balinese religion by the Ministry of Religion was based on a twofold assumption: first, that the Balinese are truly Hindu and, second, that Agama Hindu is monotheistic, in accordance with a conception of the divine specific to the religions of the Book – and particularly to Islam. While specialists hold contradictory opinions as to whether or not Balinese traditional religious practices and beliefs pertain to ‘Hinduism’,25 there appears striking convergences between Agama Hindu and the Neo-Hindu reformism which has developed in India since the nineteenth century. As well as the emphasis put on monotheism in response to criticisms levelled by Muslims and Christians alike, both these movements have been influenced by Orientalism, colonialism and nationalism. Accordingly, it appears that the contemporary Hinduization-cum-Indianization of the Balinese religion is the result of a misapprehension. If it has indeed allowed the Balinese to counter Muslim and Christian proselytism, their adhesion to Agama Hindu was effected at the expense of a denial. Far from restoring their Indian heritage as they claimed, by means of internal rationalization and alignment with transnational Hinduism, the Balinese reformers have in fact dissociated themselves from their religious roots, particularly those of Tantric persuasion, whose affinities with Austronesian practices and representations had facilitated the diffusion throughout the Archipelago.26 By thus renouncing their ancestral practices – be they of Indian origin – in order to embrace a Neo-Hindu orthodoxy which was perfectly alien to them, they assumed that they could withstand the religions of the Book on their own ground. Now that the Balinese are no longer constrained to abide by a governmentrecognized religion, thanks to the liberalization of the Indonesian political

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system and the decentralization of state authority after the collapse of the New Order regime, the disaffection of the PDHB might be interpreted as a return to the original acceptation of agama, untainted by its Islamic and Christian interpretations, when agama had not yet been separated from adat.27 One could say that the Parisada Dharma Hindu Bali is re-appropriating the power to identify as agama that which pertains to adat for the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia, just as the latter had claimed the power to designate as agama that which the Ministry of Religion had classified as adat.

Acknowledgements I would like to thank the following Balinese informants for their assistance in making sense of Balinese religious reform: Ida Pedanda Gede Ketut Sebali Tianyar Arimbawa, Ida Pedanda Gede Made Gunung, Ida Bagus Gede Agastia, I Gusti Putu Rai Andayana, Putu Alit Bagiasna, Ida Bagus Gde Dosther, Putu Wirata Dwikora, A.A.G.N. Ari Dwipayana, Tjokorda Raka Kerthyasa, I Ketut Natih, I Gede Natih, I Nyoman Suwandhi Pendit, I Gde Pitana, I Nyoman Darma Putra, I Dewa Windu Sancaya, Putu Setia, Ida Bagus Putu Sudarsana, Tjokorda Rai Sudharta, I Wayan Sudirta, I Gede Sura, I Made Titib, I Ketut Wiana, I Nyoman Wijaya, as well as the late I Gusti Ngurah Bagus and I Made Wedastera Suyasa. This chapter benefitted further from information provided by Yadav Somvir, as well as the late Father Norbert Shadeg and Narendra Dev. Pandit Shastri.

Notes 1 The Balinese nobility is composed of the triwangsa (literally, the ‘three peoples’ – Brahmana, Satria and Wesia – believed to have come from Majapahit), as opposed to the commoners (jaba, literally ‘outsiders’), who make up the bulk of the population. 2 The Malay word bangsa, just like its variant wangsa, derived from the Sanskrit vamsa, meaning ‘lineage’, conveys the idea of a people sharing a common ethnic origin and similar customs. 3 In order to govern the island efficiently, the colonial state introduced uniform administration throughout Balinese society, which had until then been characterized by local variations. A new type of village was created, the ‘administrative village’, to be distinguished from the ‘customary village’. By introducing a dichotomy between customary authority which they left to the Balinese, and administrative authority which they appropriated, the Dutch could rule Bali while purporting to restore its traditional order. On the colonial administration in Bali, see HauserSchäublin, Chapter 8 in this volume. 4 See the Introduction to this volume for an outline of the appropriation of agama in Indonesia and the evolution of its meaning therein. 5 While Islam and Christianity were seen as a threat, they also represented, for the reform-minded Balinese intelligentsia, a reference of what a true religion should be. 6 Traditionally in Bali, knowledge was perceived as dangerous, inasmuch as it was dealing with the mysterious powers (sakti) of the world beyond the senses (niskala). Hence, manuscripts treating of religious matters were shrouded in secrecy and protected by prohibitions (aja wera). Their access was restricted to those persons

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who had been duly purified (pawintenan) and had acquired the appropriate skills to study them, thereby becoming immune to supernatural forces. 7 The ascendancy of Islamic conceptions and vocabulary over the Balinese intelligentsia has been obvious since the 1920s. In quest of a Kitab Suci (kitab is a word of Arabic origin, referring specifically to the Koran) as well as of a nabi (a prophet, particularly Muhammad), in the periodicals under investigation, the Balinese were frequently described as umat, their priests as ulama, and their God as Allah. Moreover, the word takhyul, used to condemn ‘superstitions’ as opposed to the true religion, is the one applied by Muslims to distinguish Islam from erroneous practices and beliefs. 8 Besides Agama Bali, one commonly encountered the following names for the Balinese religion: Tirta, Siwa, Buda, Siwa-Buda, Trimurti, Hindu Bali, Bali Hindu, Hindu. The name Agama Tirta refers to the holy water prepared by the pedanda, which is required for most religious rites. As for the names Agama Siwa and Agama Buda, they pertain to the two main categories of pedanda: the pedanda Siwa and the pedanda Buda. The appellation Agama Siwa-Buda points more specifically to the Tantric fusion of Shaivism and Buddhism in East Java in the thirteenth century, wherefrom it spread to Bali. Agama Trimurti was occasionally advocated in reference to the Hindu triad of Brahma, Wisnu and Iswara. Finally, one finds Agama Hindu in relation either to the religion practised in India or to the religion of the Balinese. But even the Balinese who called their religion Agama Hindu were aware that the word ‘Hindu’ only became known in Bali in the twentieth century. 9 Besides Sang Hyang Widhi, Balinese referred to the highest source of spiritual power by many different names. Before being officially adopted as the name of God in the Balinese religion, the name Sang Hyang Widhi had been popularized in the 1920s by the movement of religious reform as an equivalent to the Malay word Tuhan, meaning ‘Lord’. According to Jan Gonda: In modern Bali Vidhi (Viddhi) – the Indian designation of ‘rule, destiny’ which is also applied to some individual gods – denotes that principle which, representing the unity of the universe, is beyond all plurality and acts as the guardian of the cosmic and moral order. (1975: 23)

10

11 12 13

The polysemy of that name allowed it to comply with the conception of a personal God characteristic of the religions of the Book, as well as with the notion of dharma, which implies the prevalence of the Cosmic Law over the gods and of the gods over humans (Ramstedt 2004a: 11). This Sanskrit terminology bears the hallmark of former Balinese students fresh from Indian universities. The word dharma, used in India by Hindu reformers in order to convey the normative idea of ‘religion’, was deemed preferable to that of agama, which in Indonesia has acquired an Islamic connotation. As for the term parisada, it is derived from the Manava Dharmashastra, the canonical foundation of the Hindu society. The Panca Çraddha is comprised of five beliefs: in Sang Hyang Widhi, atman, karmaphala, samsara, and moksha (Punyatmadja 1970). To secure the position of Agama Hindu within the New Order regime, in 1968, the Parisada joined the Golkar, while military officers filled the ranks of its Executive Board. I am referring here to various ethnic groups who succeeded in having their traditional religion recognized as branches of Agama Hindu: the Tengger in Java (Hefner 1985); the Sa’dan-Toraja (Aluk To Dolo), the Mamasa-Toraja (Ada’Mappurondo) and the Bugis To Wani To Lotang, in Celebes in 1969 (Ramstedt

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2004b); the Karo Batak in Sumatra (Pemena) in 1977 (Vignato 2000); as well as the Ngaju and the Luangan in Kalimantan (Kaharingan) in 1980 (Weinstock 1987). In fact, after a period of nominal affiliation to Agama Hindu, a significant proportion of these groups are now either Islamized or Christianized. It is rather difficult to know with any precision the number of adherents to Agama Hindu in Indonesia, inasmuch as the religious composition of the population is a politically contentious matter. According to the 2000 census, Muslims composed 88.2 per cent of the Indonesian population, Protestants 5.9 per cent, Catholics 3.1 per cent, Hindus 1.8 per cent, and Buddhists 0.8 per cent. As for the island of Bali, Hindus composed 87.4 per cent of the population, Muslims 10.3 per cent, Protestants 0.9 per cent, Catholics 0.8 per cent, and Buddhist 0.5 per cent. In the opinion of many Balinese religious leaders, the proportion of Hindus is deliberately underestimated at the national level, whereas it is overestimated for Bali. The issue of ‘caste’ is recurrent among Balinese intellectuals. Since the polemic launched by the jaba against the privileges of the triwangsa in Surya Kanta, the religiously correct version in Bali claims that the castes are a European colonial invention, which does not exist in true Hinduism. It is in fact a misconception of the idea of functional occupation (warna), turned into a status hierarchy based on birth (wangsa). According to this version, highly influenced by a conception of merit learnt by the Balinese in colonial schools as well as by the position of Indian reformers, the true Brahmana is not someone born into a Brahmana lineage but someone whose life is led in accordance with the duty (dharma) of the Brahmana (Wiana 2006). The question of priesthood in Bali is complex, the more so as it is controversial, owing to its link to the hierarchy of the title groups. One can distinguish two categories of priests, according to the conditions put to their access. The first – the pinandita, according to the Parisada’s terminology – which requires only a purification ceremony (pawintenan), comprises mostly the priests attached to the service of a particular temple (pemangku), puppeteers (mangku dalang), as well as mediums and healers (balian). The second category – called pandita by the Parisada – reserved to those who undergo an initiation (padiksan) and are authorized by the Parisada, is monopolized by Brahmana priests (pedanda). It is precisely this privilege which is challenged by the warga, who attempt to impose the use of their own priests – bhujangga, resi, bhagawan, empu, and dukuh – next to that of the pedanda (Setia 2001). The motto ‘Back to the Veda’ is based on the presupposition that the Veda had been transmitted to Bali, where they fell into disuse, as in India. This illusion, long held by Orientalists, goes back to the report published by the German Sanskritist Rudolph Friederich, who had been sent by the Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences with the first military expedition against Bali in 1846 to collect manuscripts and other artefacts (Friederich 1959). Had he been allowed to have a look at the manuscripts that the pedanda called Weda, Friederich would have found out that these were not the Indian Veda, but for the most part prescriptions for rituals, interspersed with mantras and hymns. In the Balinese language, the word Weda refers to the mantras contained in ritual manuals and uttered by the pedanda during their office (maweda) (Goudriaan 1970). On the Veda, see Acri, Chapter 6 in this volume, note 41. The Campuan congress was conspicuously dominated by pedanda, with the triwangsa accounting for 58 out of 95 members. A special commission was set up, with 23 pedanda out of the 25 priests and 12 triwangsa out of the 14 laymen (PHDI Propinsi Bali 2001). The contrast between the composition of their respective leadership is revealing. The Council of Priests of the Parisada Besakih comprised 22 members, of whom there were only 2 pedanda, and it was moreover headed not by a pedanda but by a

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priest from a commoner warga. Also, there were only 3 triwangsa among the 36 members of its Council of Laymen. As for the Parisada Campuan, its Council of Priests comprised 11 priests, of whom 6 were pedanda, while 16 out of 22 members composing its Council of Laymen were triwangsa. The fact that some leaders of the Parisada Pusat had threatened to sue the Parisada Campuan for misappropriating the PHDI’s name might have had something to do with the decision to change the name of the organization. In this respect, like many other ethnic groups across the world, the Balinese people are seeking to shield themselves from the contemporary process of globalization by promoting a localized religious revival. The slogan Ajeg Bali – which translates as ‘Bali Stand Up’ – was launched by the media tycoon Satria Naradha, the head of the Bali Post Group, in response to the bombings of October 2002. According to its promoter, the purpose of the Ajeg Bali campaign is to defend the Balinese cultural identity by fostering a strong and resilient Bali. The critical situation of Bali is due not only to the bombings, but also to the fact that the Balinese people have lost control of their island, which is exploited by foreign investors, invaded by labour migrants, and threatened by Islam and Christianity. In short, the Balinese have become foreigners in their own land (Picard 2009). It is certainly no coincidence that such interpretation is directly derived from the exegesis put forth in the 1960s by I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa, in order to base his defence of the name Agama Hindu Bali against the proponents of the name Agama Hindu (Sugriwa 1968). As it happens, several ethnic Hindu councils have been set up in Indonesia lately, such as the Chinese Majelis Hindu Tionghoa, the Indian Sabha Dharma Nusantara, and the Javanese Majapahid. See Acri’s Chapter 6 in this volume. ‘Hinduism’ is a notoriously slippery denomination, referring to a miscellany of diverse traditions sharing certain common features with no single feature being shared by them all, before it came to be hypostatized and appropriated by ‘Hindus’ themselves in the nineteenth century to become acknowledged as a ‘world religion’ (see Bloch et al. 2010, for the latest position on the subject). The prevalence and significance of Tantrism in Bali have been underscored by such scholars as Lovric (1987), Geertz (1995), and Stephen (2005). In this respect, the return to Agama Hindu Bali has to be understood within the framework of the revitalization of adat, and the concomitant mingling of adat and agama, investigated by Hauser-Schäublin in Chapter 8 in this volume.

6

A new perspective for ‘Balinese Hinduism’ in the light of the pre-modern religious discourse A textual-historical approach Andrea Acri Indigenous written texts, and text-like materials, must be interpreted on the basis of firm understandings of what they were for the Balinese, the circumstances in which they were made, the purposes for which they were intended, and the ‘languages’ in which they were put forth. When this is done, there results a sharpening of awareness of the disparity between Balinese and foreign views of writing, performances, and many other forms of communication. (Hildred Geertz 1991: 3)

A significant amount of scholarly literature on Balinese religion has been published so far. Several of these studies, mostly written by anthropologists, have focused on the process of normalization and universalization of Balinese religion promoted by various reform movements since the early twentieth century. According to the most influential theories, the reformers sought to promote a shift from orthopraxy (adat) to an abstract religion (agama), the allegiance to a single deity and the ‘scripturalization’ of traditional beliefs. This process has been regarded as one of discontinuity, witnessing a (self-) superimposition of foreign concepts on the local pre-existing framework. In other words, Balinese Hinduism has been viewed as a construction or ‘invention’ of local leaders and intellectuals in their attempt to establish a form of religion which could be reconciled with both Indian Hinduism and Balinese traditions. While this approach has offered a substantial contribution to the analysis of the process of ‘Hinduization’ as it unfolded in modern times, scholars have often paid too little attention to the historical perspective, with the consequence that it is still difficult to discern features that are the result of reformist influence from those that took shape in the pre-colonial past. The emphasis has tended to be on sociological issues connected with ritual and hierarchy, rather than doctrinal and philosophical ones. In particular, scholars have largely ignored an important source of data on the latter aspect of Balinese religion, i.e. the extensive corpus of S´aiva texts known as Tutur, representing a body of didactic literature contextualizing materials of South Asian provenance into a Javano-Balinese doctrinal framework.1 Furthermore, very little attention has been paid so far to the comparison with features of

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ancient Indian religion(s), which since the first millennium CE have contributed to shaping the Balinese religious tradition. Following an approach inspired by the ground-breaking research on Balinese mysticism by Stephen (2005),2 I argue in this chapter that several widely accepted statements in studies on Balinese religion could be questioned in the light of the most recent research on the Tutur literature.3 Drawing upon Tutur texts, this chapter tries to show that several of the characterizing features of modern Balinese religious discourse can be traced back to the pre-modern past, being ultimately based on Indic ideas. This testifies to the existence of a complex mystical and philosophical tradition that predates twentieth-century reformist efforts and which existed alongside the ritual dimension of the everyday local religious practices described by anthropologists. In presenting my analysis, the chapter focuses on three characteristic features of modern Balinese religion, arguing that they represent, at least in part, elements of continuity rather than being uniquely the result of the normative influence of Christianity, Islam and (Neo-)Hinduism. These features include: the scripturalization of Balinese religion, the theological-philosophical dimension as reflected in the traditional literature, and its monotheistic character. Rather than denying the important role played by external elements in polarizing certain aspects of Balinese religion, I aim to show that a careful text-oriented analysis is required in order to better understand the dynamics of the religious discourse in its historical dimension.

The Tutur literature from Bali A great number of the Balinese palm-leaf manuscripts (lontar) that have come down to us contain texts belonging to the category of the S´iva Tutur, which are written in a mix of Sanskrit and Old Javanese. Such texts, the oldest of which are likely to have been composed in Java sometime between the ninth and the fifteenth century, while the most recent ones date back to the first half of twentieth century and were certainly composed on Bali, are to be regarded as the scriptural basis of the S´aiva religion on the island. These manuals mostly focus on speculations on S´aiva soteriology, cosmology, micro-macrocosmic classifications, theorization of yoga and supernatural powers, mantras, speculations on the nature of the absolute reality and the various aspects of S´aiva. In spite of the fact that Tutur constitute an important source of information on religion, philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, they have remained a neglected branch of study. Even the specialists in Old Javanese admit to having largely ignored them, as they have mainly focused on the study of other genres and particularly the belles-lettres (Creese 2001: 14–15).4 The first pioneering studies were produced by Dutch, French and German scholars in the first half of the twentieth century, followed by the textual editions and translations of the International Academy of Indian Culture (Sudarshana Devi 1957, 1958, 1962) and of Soebadio (1971). After that, interest in this field virtually disappeared and only a handful of articles appeared.5

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The Tutur literature from the anthropological point of view As one may expect, if the interest in such texts among philologists has been scant, it has been even more so among anthropologists, who, while focusing on practical and ritual aspects, have shown a tendency to underestimate the age-old, sophisticated speculative and philosophical scriptural tradition that has survived on Bali. A perusal of the mass of anthropological studies dealing with the contemporary reformed version of Balinese religion, including the articles by Howell (1978, 1982), Picard (1997, 1999a, 1999b, 2002, 2004), etc., reveals that Tutur literature is seldom, if ever, directly mentioned. In the authoritative and thought-provoking books on Balinese Hinduism by Howe (2001, 2005), the ‘traditional literature’ of Bali is rarely mentioned, and the relevance of Tutur is never discussed in detail.6 One may regard this tendency as a result of the methodological standpoint defended by Clifford Geertz (1976: 224) who, in a notorious debate with the philologist Christiaan Hooykaas, wrote: There has been a great deal of discussion – most of it bootless – in anthropology recently as to where, actually, culture ‘is’. But if I had to choose (as I do not), I should surely prefer to locate it in the lives of men, not in the annotations learned scholiasts attach to recondite texts … For an anthropologist anyway … such texts are relevant only to the degree that they, or the ideas and images they contain, become part of the living experience of existent human beings. According to Geertz (1973a: 185), traditional Balinese manuscripts were ‘more magical esoterica than canonical scriptures’, being religious paraphernalia whose ‘traditional’ function was mainly as sacred heirlooms. Notwithstanding the criticism aimed at Geertz’s publications on Balinese religion by later anthropologists,7 there is little doubt that the same standpoint has survived pervasively in the majority of the studies on aspects of Balinese religion. A faithful subscription to Geertz’s views is found, for instance, in Guermonprez (2001: 276, fn. 12), who considers Tutur as mere pusaka (i.e. paraphernalia), the contents of which are in no way reflected in the everyday dimension of Balinese religion: Je n’ignore pas que des manuscripts contenant des mythes hindo-javanais ont été pieusement conservés à Bali comme des objets sacrés hérités d’ancêtres prestigieux. Mais ces mythes, élaborés à Java et rédigés en javanais ancien, sont inconnus de la très grande majorité des Balinais et, en l’état actuel des connaissances, nul n’est en mesure d’affirmer qu’ils informent significativement la vision du monde du petit nombre de lettrés qui seraient capables de les lire. Le fait remarquable est que le riche héritage textuel hindo-javanais n’a pas stimulé la production de mythes

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locaux, en langue balinaise, qui auraient pu constituer un savoir vivant et largement partagé. In his book Balinese Worlds, Barth (1993: 216) described the deleterious effects of the foundation of the Kirtya library by the Dutch authorities, who organized the removal of manuscripts from their traditional functions, restricting their availability to a very small elite of scholars only.8 He further pointed out that: The remaining, dispersed part of their heritage, however, continues to function in a traditional fashion. Locked away in shrine houses in village temples, or privately kept by family lines of priests, balians, and others, they are approached with great ceremony as manifestations of divinity and an embodiment and direct source of sakti, sacred power, to their possessors. Besides the view regarding Tutur as unworthy sources of information on Balinese religion on account of their irrelevance for the everyday life of the Balinese, there is the recurring description of this body of scriptures as unsystematic and lacking a proper philosophical and theological unity. Barth (ibid. 216–17) provides the following assessment of the corpus: Are there then no sacred texts anywhere to embody Bali-Hindu doctrine, and teach it, and ensure its coherence? Yes, there are such texts, which are believed to present ideas, conceptions, and knowledge with superhuman authority, but they fail to function in a way that enhances a unity of doctrine and dogma. Whatever the coherence of their content – which is questionable, but for others to judge who command the required philological and philosophical competence – they enter into the living tradition in such a way that only adds more voices to its diversity … My point is, these fascinating and important texts add significantly to the BaliHindu stream of tradition, but not as literary heritage allowing reference, comparison, and a critical scholarship of establishing a shared authentic knowledge. On the contrary, they are separate, independent sources of authority to their priestly possessors, at best read for their unique and place-and-person-specific knowledge, each sacred and powerful and unchallengeable in its particular validity. Barth, to his credit, faces up to the implications deriving from the existence of Tutur texts – which he calls ‘fascinating’ and ‘important’ – concluding that they do not bear systematic, coherent and unitary theological contents. However, his admitted lack of expertise required to judge the characteristics of such literature is in itself illuminating, insofar as it depicts the general level of knowledge of such scriptures and their accessibility to anthropologists and philologists alike. The latter indeed have also contributed to spread a good

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deal of misconceptions, which have been quoted in later scholarly literature as words of authority. See, for example, the following statement by Soebadio (1971: 61–2),9 in which the view of the anthropologist and the philologist coalesce: In Bali, the more speculative parts of the religious texts are no longer evident in present day religious life … The Tutur are not so much used as treasured as pusaka, a sacred heirloom, and venerated as such … Balinese religious life as we witness it at present seems thus to show that since the day Tutur were composed, theological speculation has receded into the background to the point of near oblivion. At an earlier date, Hooykaas10 (1963: 373) wrote: The impact of Christianity caused much friction and several conflicts, and many Balinese, though well aware of the richness and variety of their inherited culture, became also aware of the fact that they did not have any revelation or generally acknowledged authoritative writing. The Christians had their BOOK, the Muslim traders of Bali had their BOOK and sometimes even their mosque, but the Balinese with their faulty MSS – they were aware of that – must have felt lost. The depiction of the Balinese self-representation given by Hooykaas has been eagerly taken over by anthropologists, whose theories on reformed Balinese Hinduism have addressed the issue of scripturalization by stressing the idea of discontinuity with the past and shown a tendency to overlook the Balinese tradition of theological and philosophical speculation conveyed through texts. For instance, Geertz (1973a: 186) observed that: It is doctrine that they [i.e. the aristocracy] are attempting to provide through reinterpreting classical Balinese literature and re-establishing intellectual contact with India. What used to rest on ritual habit is now to rest on rationalized dogmatic belief. The main concerns upon which the content of the ‘new’ literature focuses … all serve to set the traditional hierarchical social system in an explicitly intellectual context. The shift from ritual to a rationalized scriptural dogmatic has been stressed by Picard (1999b: 42), along with the idea that ‘scripturalization’ of Balinese religion must be regarded as an attempt undertaken by the reformists (including the Parisada Hindu Dharma) to give rational theological and philosophical foundations to the Balinese beliefs and align them with Christianity and Islam, both possessing a Holy Book: The Parisada undertook to compile a holy book, standardize religious rites, formalize the priesthood, and provide instruction in Hindu religion in schools and universities – all this amounting to a ‘scripturalization’ of Balinese religion, a shift of focus from ritual to text.

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Is Balinese religion a ‘religion’? Anthropological views on orthopraxy vs. orthodoxy In view of the above-quoted anthropological statements about its textual heritage, it is not surprising that scholars have regarded Balinese religion as almost exclusively ritualistic, lacking a theoretical and theological dimension.11 Geertz claimed that Balinese religion is thoroughly ‘traditional’, in contrast to the ‘rationalized’ Indian Hinduism, involving no intellectual activity, its priests being ‘more professional magicians than true priests’ (1973a: 179). In his words (ibid.: 176–7): it is the near total absence of either doubt or dogmatism, the metaphysical nonchalance, that almost immediately strikes one. That, and the astounding proliferation of ceremonial activity. The Balinese … seem much too busy practicing their religion to think (or worry) very much about it … Beyond a minimal level, there is almost no interest in doctrine, or generalized interpretation of what is going on, at all. The stress is in orthopraxy, not orthodoxy – what is crucial is that each ritual detail should be correct and in place. Howell (1978: 265) remarked that ‘the abstract and comprehensive ethics of the world religions were thus little known’, while, according to Staal (1995: 31), ‘Balinese ritual is a classic case of ritual without religion.’ According to Forge (1980: 222), ‘The emphasis on literacy and schooling was contrary to the values of traditional Balinese religion which, as Geertz has emphasized, is primarly concerned with orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy.’ Similarly, Picard describes the modern reformed and rationalized form of agama as bearing ‘little resemblance to everyday religious practice in houseyard and village temples, which is ritual-focused rather than text-focused’ (1997: 195). Further, Unlike the world religions that have a core of abstract basic tenets and symbols meaningful to people of diverse cultural backgrounds, Balinese religion consists of rites that relate specific groups of people to one another, to their ancestors, and to their territory. Thus, religion in Bali is highly localized, and its gods – their Hindu denominations notwithstanding – are deified ancestors and forces of nature. (ibid.: 188) Also: For the Balinese, religion is immanent: it is a pervasive experience, intimately involved in every significant event of their daily life, inseparable from the totality of their cultural universe. The relevant concern, for them, is not right belief (orthodoxy) but appropriate behaviour (orthopraxy).

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Andrea Acri Rather than something to be believed in, Balinese religion is something to be carried out (nyungsung). (Picard 2004: 62)

An even more dismissive stance, owing much to the above-quoted statements by Geertz, has been expressed by Guermonprez (2001: 276–7): la religion balinaise est à peu près exclusivement ritualiste, dépourvue qu’elle est de ces élaborations construites, rationalisantes ou mystiques, mythologiques ou théologiques, qui, ailleurs, sont censées livrer le sens d’une religion … la comparaison entre l’Inde et Bali est déséquilibrée du fait que la religion balinaise ne marche que sur un seul pied, celui d’un ritualisme dont la richesse contraste avec la pauvreté des formulations religieuses. Guermonprez (ibid.: 277) goes on to remark that there is no link between ritual practice and S´aiva Old-Javanese religious texts: En paraphrasant la formule de Frits Staal … , on pourrait dire que les Balinais ont des rites, mais pas de religion. Autant qu’on le sache, cela vaut aussi pour les prêtres brahmanes qui rendent un culte à un dieu nommé Siwa sans pour autant être les dépositaires d’une théologie siwaïte ou même prétendre, à la façon des prêtres shivaïtes des temples sud-indiens, légitimer leur pratique en référence à des textes fondateurs révélés par la divinité. Comme on peut le vérifier, les textes étudiés par Hooykaas (1966) ne révèlent aucun élément doctrinal et ne sont donc pas à proprement parler des manuels de religion, mais des aide-mémoire contenant le script des paroles et des gestes rituels des prêtres. [fn. 15] Plus exactement, il existe un lien formel manifeste entre ce rituel balinais et certains textes javanais du Xe ou XIe siècle que l’on peut rattacher, au moins par certains aspects, au s´aivasiddha-nta, dont l’élaboration définitive ne fut achevée en Inde qu’au XIIe siècle … En fait, ces textes javanais, difficiles à interpréter, ne reprennent pas tant les aspects philosophiques de la doctrine que les pratiques mystiques, notamment yogiques, dont le but est de réaliser l’union avec la divinité. Bien que les travaux des philologues montrent que ces textes relèvent indiscutablement de l’hindouisme, il serait anthropologiquement imprudent d’en déduire sans autre examen qu’il en va de même du rituel balinais dans le contexte où il est pratiqué aujourd’hui. According to Howe (2001: 158), the term Agama Hindu denotes ‘a rationalized and more theological form of Hinduism which has been created by the reform of adat religion’, hence implying a derivation of the former from the latter.12 Similarly, Picard (2002: 111–14) points out that the Balinese traditional concept of ‘religion’ (agama) was not originally separated from

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the concept of ‘tradition’ (adat), for it was only under external influence that these movements attempted to discriminate between the two, mostly by substituting orthodoxy for orthopraxy.13

An alternative approach to scripturalization The Muslims say, you have no Book, how can you be a world-religion? The Balinese reply, we have manuscripts and inscriptions dating from before Mohammed. (Geertz 1973a: 189) Having perused a quantity of anthropological studies, I have come to the conclusion that the views on Tutur, and the consequent ‘statements of absence’ about various intellectual and doctrinal aspects of Balinese religion found there, are based on a lack of knowledge instead of being the result of a detailed critical analysis drawing upon actual evidence.14 True, no one could deny that a normative influence was exerted by the so-called ‘religions of the Book’ in polarizing the modalities through which the Balinese have dealt with their heritage of written scriptural sources. However, the claim that in the first half of the twentieth century a purely ritualistic Balinese religion was for the first time provided with a corpus of sacred scriptures containing a revealed, coherent dogmatic and hence considered authoritative is, I believe, a far-fetched and misleading conclusion. The theorization of a shift from ‘ritual’ to ‘text’ may be regarded as an easy way to escape the crucial issues, that is, to explain in a truly analytical way, on account of textual or orally collected evidence when possible, what this ‘new’ and ‘rationalized’ theology consisted of; and what were the departures from and continuities with the pre-existing tradition fixed in the religious literature.15 As our knowledge of the Tutur literature is still far from being definitive, any dismissive statement must be carefully evaluated. As a matter of fact, the Balinese possess one of the largest bodies of religious literature in Southeast Asia, and certainly the highest number of manuscripts per capita (Hooykaas 1963: 371). It would be quite bizarre to present Balinese religion as though it had no scriptures. The exclusive function as traditional paraphernalia does not justify the great number, in the order of thousands, of surviving scriptures; it does not explain their variety and the high degree of textual creativity they display; it clashes with the existence of a network of traditional private libraries spread all over Bali, linked through mutual contacts for the exchange of manuscripts; and it is at odd with the practice of learned textual debate testifying to the existence on Bali of a long-standing text-centred pedagogical and interpretive tradition. The above elements do not constitute mere relics from the past, but find a continuation in the great quantity of Indonesian translations of Tutur, and of religious books based upon the contents of Tutur, which have been published on Bali from the 1950s till today.16

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As recent textually conscious anthropological studies have shown, even in pre-colonial times on Bali there existed a higher level of literacy than has been previously assumed, and access to certain categories of religious scriptures was not only the prerogative of the Brahmana.17 Further evidence supporting the view that Tutur are still relevant to contemporary everyday religious life on Bali is now turning up: witness the recent research by Stephen (2005) showing how two contemporary Balinese painters appear to display in their works motifs and ideas based on a commonly shared core of beliefs found in Tutur. I believe that what has been perceived as a chaotic mass of scriptures by Western colonial scholars (and hence by the Balinese themselves, influenced by such views) only testifies to the Balinese predisposition for exegesis of the various kinds of religious revelations contained in traditional scriptures, which itself may be a trace of lasting Indic cultural influence. As observed by one of the first European visitors to the island, John Crawfurd (1820: 147),18 at the beginning of the nineteenth century, ‘The Brahmans of Bali complained of the loss of some works of importance connected with their religion, and made anxious enquiry respecting their existence in India. I had not learning enough to give them a satisfactory reply.’ This important observation leads me to conclude that, by the time of Crawfurd, the Balinese intellectual elite was already concerned with problems of interpretation and authorization of their doctrinal tradition from a scriptural viewpoint well before the modern reform movements. To what extent this influence was due to external factors, such as the contact with Islam, is impossible to establish at this stage. What is undeniable is the fact that the attribution of a universal and supernaturally authoritative character to the scriptures of the Tutur class is a well-rooted idea in the Javano-Balinese textual tradition. As anthropologists themselves have noted (Atkinson 1987: 174–6; Picard 1999a: 9; Ramstedt 2004a: 9), already in Sanskrit and Old Javanese a-gama implies a textual source as the basis for ritual and worship. The word itself, from the Sanskrit root gam ‘to go’, literally meaning ‘arrival’, conveys the idea of (superhuman) revelation, i.e. of religious knowledge descended in the form of a sacred body of scriptures and propagated by a tradition of masters.19 The word a-gamaprama-n.a (often abbreviated into a-gama), ‘valid means of knowledge provided by scripture’, being one of the three valid means of knowledge according to S´aiva theology, is found in both Sanskrit and Balinese scriptures. Doctrine is usually revealed in the form of dialogue between supernatural beings (i.e. the Lord S´iva himself and his son Kuma-ra or a R . s.i) taking place on the summit of the mount Kaila-sa and detached from the human temporal dimension. Furthermore, when the Wr.haspatitattwa presents a threefold division of the S´aiva religion (s´aivama-rga), it connects the different and contrasting doctrines to the use of a different set of sacred texts (aji, s´a-stra).20 These features are not much different from the concept of ‘Holy Book’ as a source of religious dogma in Christianity and Islam. Now, the problem is, as noted by Picard (1999b: 47, 2004: 69), that in early twentieth-century printed Balinese periodicals the

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word agama was already understood by the Balinese in the meaning of ‘religion’ as opposed to adat, but ‘the investigation of these journals does not allow us to elucidate how the Balinese arrived at this conception’. While Picard should be given due credit for having introduced, through the analysis of such periodicals, significant advancements in the understanding of the dynamics of reformed Balinese religion, the limitations of basing his analysis uniquely on early twentieth-century sources are evident. I believe that the only possible way to approach the issue lamented above by Picard is to peruse the mass of Tutur texts still waiting to be inspected.

Tutur as the basis of religious orthodoxy I believe that the anthropological statements on the absence of a proper orthodoxy in Balinese religion, no doubt betraying their derivation from Geertz’s ideas, have promoted a monolithic and ahistorical image of both Balinese religion and society. It is important to note that these statements are in contrast with the emic perspective of the Balinese. For instance, many among the early intellectuals and reformers viewed their religion as a dross of ritual (Howe 2001: 175), or a degeneration of agama into adat, rather than the other way around.21 They also maintained that the common Balinese do not really know about the contents of their religion, being blinded by superstitions (tachjoel) on account of the Brahmana monopoly of the knowledge contained in the traditional religious literature (Picard 1999b: 29).22 Furthermore, as it emerges by the interviews made by Bakker (1997: 22), relating the Balinese intellectuals’ perception of their religion: there is, of course, a close relationship between ideas and rituals. Balinese intellectuals themselves repeatedly claim that their particular form of Hinduism comprises three closely related components, namely philosophy, ritual, and ethics. It is often said moreover that the rituals are a reflection of Hindu doctrine. Now these claims find a confirmation in the scriptural sources. Such threefold compartmentalization, which must be considered an indigenous categorization, appears to have already existed in the past, for we find scriptures dealing with different aspects of ‘religion’ such as theology and philosophy (Tutur and Tattwa), applied theology and yoga (Tutur), conduct for religious people (S´a-sana), and ritual (Kalpa, etc.).23 Although one rarely notes the presence of ritual elements within speculative texts,24 it is true that the two aspects, as the Balinese maintain, are closely related. In criticizing the above-quoted views of Guermonprez, I point out that the author misleadingly describes ritual texts such as Su-ryasewana and the like, which are just what they are, i.e. manuals of ritual, without any pretension to be ‘manuals of religion’. Furthermore, Guermonprez does not seem to consider relevant the fact that speculative Tutur are replete with cosmological categorizations, lists of subtle centres,

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veins and winds of the body, yoga postures, etc., which are also an important feature of ritual texts. The fact that such items of doctrine were an indispensable ingredient of a successful ritual activity is suggested by the testimony left by Korn (1984: 134–6), the first scholar who described the little-known ritual of ordination of Balinese priests. Korn informs us that, as early as 1928, all the aspirant priests were obliged, as an essential requirement, to have achieved a complete mastery of a set of scriptures on a wide range of subjects, including those belonging to the Tutur category.25 Furthermore, the findings presented by Bakker (1993: 76, 174; 1997: 22) and Stephen (2005: 98–132) demonstrate that the Balinese ritual system appears to be authorized and conceptually based upon a core of philosophical ideas and basic tenets to be traced in the Tutur literature. Similarly, there can be no Indian S´aiva ritual without a cosmological and philosophical foundation – mostly contained in the corpus of the S´aiva Agama – underlying it (Davis 1991). While I admit that many Balinese Tutur are characterized by a markedly esoteric, unsystematic and practically minded character,26 I point out that, on closer scrutiny, this kind of literature presents a remarkably coherent and fully fledged S´aiva doctrine, sharing some basic tenets throughout the corpus. Furthermore, it has been often overlooked that among the hundreds of titles in circulation on the island, there exists a comparatively restricted class of scriptures that are clearly more speculative, dogmatic treatises.27 These scriptures, most often bearing in their titles the denomination of Tattwa,28 are almost exclusively concerned with philosophy, ontology and soteriology. Tattwa can be distinguished from other texts belonging to the Tutur category on account of the fact that they were not openly considered esoteric, for no instruction of haywa werah (‘do not divulge it!’) is, to my knowledge, ever given in Tattwa – unlike in many other Tutur, where such instructions abound. It is worthwhile to point out that some of these speculative-minded treatises were mentioned as the ‘secret texts of the Brahmans’ by the early observer Friederich, who listed the following titles (spelling as in the original 1849–50 edition in Dutch, 1959: 22–3): 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Boewana Sangksepa; Boewana Kosa; Wreˇ haspati Tatwa; Sa-rasa Moestjaja; Tatwa Djnja-na; Kandampat; Sadjotkranti; Toetoer Kamoksa.

The philosophical character of such texts did not escape the notice of early scholars such as Goris and Zieseniss. Both took up the study of various sour. ces, including the Bhuwanakos´a, Bhuwanasanks.epa and Tattwajña-na (Goris 1926; Zieseniss 1939); in addition, Zieseniss (1956) devoted a monograph to

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the Wr.haspatitattwa. These pioneering works pointed to the existence of a developed Javano-Balinese philosophical and exegetical tradition, originating from ancient South Asia, which took root in Bali and survived through the ages until the present time. Some among the above mentioned texts, viz. the Wr.haspatitattwa, Tattwajña-na, Gan.apatitattwa (containing the Tutur Kamoks.an)29 and Sa-rasamuccaya30 also happened to be the first titles to be edited, translated and published by the International Academy of Indian Culture in the 1960s.31 The same titles, besides the Bhuwanakos´a, also dominate the panorama of the editions with Indonesian translation that started to circulate on the island from the 1980s till nowadays. I argue that it was not by chance, since the majority among the above-mentioned texts are clearly the most valuable for a philosophical exposition of Balinese S´aivism. It should also be noted that the number of copies of such manuscripts is considerably higher than those containing other texts. The titles that recur most predominantly, diffused in almost every traditional library, happen to be among those mentioned by Friederich, which must therefore be considered to form a corpus or ‘canon’ that provides a dogmatic basis for the orthodoxy of Balinese religion.32 Orthodoxy, referred to in Balinese terms as ‘true knowledge’ (samyagjña-na), is opposed to heterodoxy, i.e. ‘false knowledge’ (mithya-jña-na). The exposition of their features is carried out in the form of a debate between . the Lord, his divine interlocutor and an adversary (san para). The latter, usually a follower of materialist doctrines, is a bearer of a ‘false view’, as he negates the existence of (1) God; (2) karma and its fruits (karmaphala); (3) heaven and hell; (4) moks.a; and (5) the a-tman.33 These five points can be compared to the so-called pañcas´raddha- of orthodox Hinduism, generally acknowledged by scholars as a recent addition to Balinese Hinduism, where they were supposedly unknown.34 Now, arguing against Barth’s (1993: 217) view considering Tutur as bearing ‘unique and place-and-person-specific knowledge, each sacred and powerful and unchallengeable in its particular validity’, and against Howe’s (2001: 148) claim that in modern times ‘Balinese religion was transformed, at least theoretically, from locally variable ritual practices within Bali to an agama with transnational potential’, I suggest that the Balinese Tutur scriptural literature shows close ties with the pre-modern transnational religious and cultural identity, extending from South Asia as far as Central and Southeast Asia, which has been defined by Pollock (1996) as ‘Sanskrit Cosmopolis’. In support of this claim, I refer to the existence of a corpus of Tantric S´aiva sacred scriptures from the Subcontinent, now preserved almost exclusively in Nepal and South India.35 These so-called Siddha-ntatantra (ca. eighth–twelfth century), not unlike Balinese Tutur, are written in an ungrammatical Sanskrit showing a remarkable degree of idiosyncrasy. Notwithstanding the considerable fluidity they present as far as matters of doctrine are concerned, they share without exception the fundamental tenets that form the core of early S´aiva religion, providing the basic framework for S´aiva theology in contrast to other Brahmanical and non-Brahmanical schools, and authorizing the

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world-view upon which the ritual praxis stands. This basic doctrinal core happens to be found also in Balinese texts, which often contain Sanskrit verses quoted from Sanskrit Siddha-ntatantra (Acri 2006). This suggests that the compilers of Archipelago sources sought to create a religious canon – consonant with their ritual and psycho-physiological practices – drawing on South Asian S´aiva sources that were circulating within the early Sanskritic cosmopolitan world. A further piece of evidence supporting the view that the Tutur literature should not be viewed as a uniquely local Balinese phenomenon is constituted by the existence of a little-known category of S´aiva Tutur from West Java. One such text, the Dharma Pa-tañjala,36 written in Old Javanese interspersed with a few Sanskrit quotations, has proved to be doctrinally very close to Balinese texts of the Tattwa category. In fact, the Dharma Pa-tañjala shares parallel passages with the latter scriptures, and mostly follows the same sequence in the treatment of topics, implementing similar argumentative conventions and heuristic methods. My preliminary conclusion is that the Tutur literature testifies to the existence of a formerly pan-Archipelago scriptural corpus which, just like in India, has come down to us only through manuscripts preserved in specific locations of Java (for instance, the West Javanese scriptorium of Ciburuy and the Merapi-Merbabu collection) and on Bali.

Are Tutur relevant to the comprehension of the modern Balinese reformed version of ‘Hinduism’? While I claim that Tutur are more relevant to certain everyday Balinese religious practices and beliefs than has been previously supposed, I do not claim that they still constitute the unique and most followed religious canon for contemporary Balinese. Certainly, judging from the quantity and variety of translations of Sanskrit scriptures and other sources labelled as ‘Hindu’ available in any bookshop on Bali, this is not the case. On the contrary, the question is why, from the first decade of the twentieth century, these texts, in spite of being referred to by a wide range of Balinese actors of reform in a variety of contexts, lost their primacy in favour of a newly imported canon from India. What strikes as the most convincing evidence of the relevance of Tutur for the study of the reformed version of Agama Hindu Bali is that these texts were to a great extent the very object of debate among the various factions of the Balinese intelligentsia who sought to reform their religion. The primary issue Balinese actors were concerned with was precisely how to interpret the traditional knowledge contained in the canon of palm-leaf manuscripts and how to adapt their long tradition to the modern world (Howell 1978: 262). In twentiethcentury periodicals such as Bali Adnjana and Surya Kanta, lontar were constantly referred to, as the authors themselves never claimed to add anything new but only to find the ‘true’ meaning of Balinese religion, which was hidden in this body of scriptures.37 Thus, the practical relevance of traditional

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scriptures for the study of modern reform movements lies in the fact that the first religious ‘textbooks’ in Balinese language were compendiums on matters of doctrine found in Tutur, which they followed with a remarkable degree of faithfulness. The S´ilakrama, the Aji Sangkhya, or Anandakusuma’s (1966) Pergolakan Hindu Dharma, appear to draw upon the speculative Tattwa whenever they seek to explain philosophic and theological concepts.38 This also results from the precious interviews of Balinese intellectuals collected by Bakker, where one sees that in replying to the interviewer’s questions his informants resorted most frequently to the Wr.haspatitattwa (Bakker 1993: 62–4). On account of such reasons, I conclude that the need of the Balinese priests to produce a ‘catechism’ or Holy Book (Picard 1999b: 41; Guermonprez 2001: 277) does not allow us to conclude that there existed no suitable candidate yet. If there was no apparent need to produce a doctrinally coherent text anew, for such texts already existed, we should then ask ourselves why the Balinese – ‘though well aware of the richness and variety of their inherited culture’ (Hooykaas 1963: 373) – still felt a sense of inferiority when confronted with the followers of the ‘religions of the Book’ and tried to produce them.39 The principal reason for producing such compilations, besides creating truly comprehensive compendia suitable to the particular needs of the times, was to make traditional beliefs conform to newly imported doctrines from Indian Hinduism, or, alternatively, to explain pre-existing concepts in the light of doctrines of Indian Hinduism. However, the reasons behind this process may be debated. My view is that it has been triggered and shaped at first by reasons connected with ideas of originality and authenticity (in part) influenced by colonial scholars, then, after Indonesia’s independence, by chiefly political reasons. Given the need to justify as quickly and convincingly as possible their creed to external eyes,40 the Balinese opted for the undoubtedly easier and, at the time, alluring (Swellengrebel 1984: 74) ‘Indian solution’, even though their own textual heritage would have been more than adequate to provide a rational basis for their creed.41 According to my reading of Balinese scriptures, nothing has been gained in terms of philosophical or theological acumen; to the contrary, the opposite is the case in many instances, where there has been a marked shift from theology to less lofty ideas concerning moral rules governing society, ritual or bhakti-inspired practices that dominate the panorama of contemporary Balinese religiosity. There is no doubt that the doctrines featured in Tutur had been perceived by the Balinese, just as they had by the first European philologists, as inferior to those of the dominant form of ‘Indian Hinduism’, for many concepts of the latter are not found in Bali. In other words, part of the intelligentsia showed a sense of inferiority as they felt (and still feel as I write) that their religion should be ‘perfected’ (disempurnakan). This is of course expected, for the scriptural basis of Balinese S´aivism was based on a core of Sanskrit texts composed in South Asia from ca. the seventh to the thirteenth century, long before the canon of Indian (Neo-)Hinduism was established and, as a matter of fact, long after the scriptures recognized as authoritative by such canon

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were composed. Now that part of the body of S´aiva scriptures is currently being made available through textual editions and translations, we see that Balinese scriptures are in conformity with the S´aiva canon in Sanskrit and, of course, not with the newly ‘invented’ canon of Indian Hinduism, featuring much earlier texts such as the Bhagavad Gita (ca. fifth–second century BC) and the Upanishad (ca. eighth–fifth century BC).

Balinese ‘Hinduism’ or Balinese S´aivism? The Muslims say, you believe in many gods and worship stones; the Balinese say, God is One but has many names and the ‘stone’ is the vehicle of God, not God himself. (Geertz 1973a: 189) Almost without exception, studies on Balinese religion fail to acknowledge that the designation ‘Balinese Hinduism’ – just as much as ‘Indian Hinduism’ – is a misnomer, by no means reflecting the predicament of religion in precolonial Bali.42 As is now generally accepted by scholars, the term ‘Hinduism’ was a product of European colonial scholars and Indian Brahmanical elite, a category that blurs rather than clarifies the nature of the various separated and mutually opposed ‘sectarian’ religious trends that from South Asia were transmitted to Southeast Asia. Von Stietencron (1995: 51–2) pointed out that: [The] painful and sometimes alarming search for identity which can be witnessed in modern Hindu self-perception reflects a genuine, though selfcreated, dilemma; it is hard, if not impossible, to find an all-India Hindu identity and orientation when confronted with an embarrassingly rich and heterogeneous tradition which contains several distinct religious identities, but was lumped together as ‘Hinduism’, at first mistakenly, and later in the service of ‘national interest’.43 It is certainly true that, by the early second half of the twentieth century, also the Balinese had appropriated for themselves the idea of Hinduism; however, the situation was different in the past for, if comparatively analyzed against the background of its medieval South Asian antecedents, Balinese religion appears to be a ‘localized’ form of S´aivism characterized by a monotheistic theology, viewing in S´iva the Paramount Lord and the all-encompassing Supreme Reality (parama-rtha) in His various aspects. Thus, it does not necessarily mean, as it has been often maintained, that the new process of shift from polytheism or other forms of localized ancestor-cults to the worship of an abstract, unique almighty God, originating from the efforts of the Balinese reformers, was only attributable to the influence of the Muslim and Christian faiths first and of mainstream Hinduism later. In short, there is an element of continuity with the ancient tradition: side by side with the

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monotheistic S´aiva theology that characterizes Tutur texts, there existed already a marked inclusivism at the level of local temple-ritual, dominated by lay people.44 My claim is not only supported by scriptural evidence, but also by the accounts of the early travellers to the island, from which the following elements emerge: (1) the marked S´aiva character of the religion, opposed to Buddhism and Islam;45 (2) the monotheistic cult of the Brahmans as opposed to the localized and embedded forms of worship of the commoners.46 According to the earliest, and perhaps still most authoritative, observer John Crawfurd (1820: 129): When interrogated respecting their religion, the natives of Bali say, that they are of the religion of SIVA, (Agama Siva), or of the religion of BUDDHA, (Agama Buddha); but as almost all knowledge of their religion is confined to its ministers, whose opinions and doctrines the people supinely subscribe to, it is usual to say ‘the religion of the Brahmans of SIVA’, and ‘the religion of the Brahmans of BUDDHA’, instead of more general appellations. It appears that, by Crawfurd’s times, the Balinese showed little of the doubts they displayed at a later date concerning the matter of what to call their religion.47 Rather, a certain linguistic accuracy seems to have been strived for by Crawfurd, who could think only in terms of (the more general appellation of) ‘Hinduism’ and (the more restricted one of) ‘sect’: ‘It is of the Hinduism of the sect of Siva only, that I can furnish any detailed information. The Buddhists are few in number’ (ibid.). The strongly S´aiva character, in opposition to Buddhism, appears from the following passage: The followers of Siva spoke of those of Buddha more with contempt than hatred or rancour – the last, indeed, are feelings not likely to be entertained by any people for a fallen sect; in which light the Buddhists were evidently looked upon. The Brahmans in their conversation often let fall expressions, which showed that they entertained no respect whatever for the followers of the opposite worship. The sect of Siva may indeed be denominated the national religion. It is the religion of nine-tenths of the people, of every sovereign on the island, and of every man in power. (ibid.:129–30) And, with regard to the monotheistic and ‘abstract’ character of the religion: ‘The brahmins even went the length of affirming that they paid adoration to no idol whatever, a singular circumstance certainly if true’ (ibid.: 138).48 Very relevant is the following observation, from which it appears that in nineteenth-century Bali there already existed some kind of division that resembles the one existing between adat and agama:

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A few years later, Friederich (1849: 319) wrote: The religion of the Balinese does not seem to be more degenerated than that of a S´ivaitic sect in India; on the contrary, it seems that here the liturgy of the Brahmans has preserved itself as purer than in the greatest majority of India. The domestic religion of the Brahmans, which the present writer had seen two times, immediately points … to the notion of a Monotheism, yet it is also paired with abundant ceremonies.51 Friederich (1959: 35) also described the opposition existing between the S´aiva theology of the priests and the cult of the commoners: The great majority of the Balinese hold the Brahmanical belief, and belong to the sect of S´iva. There is no trace of other sects (Vishn.uites) in Bali, and the worship of S´iva has absorbed, as it were, that of all other gods of the Hindu Pantheon. The religion may be divided into the private worship of the priests and the public worship of the people. (italics are authorial) The last passage presented here is taken from the chronicle of Helms (1882: 35), a Danish traveller who spent some time in Bali in the first half of the nineteenth century: The Balinese are Saivas, votaries of Siva, and although the names of the different gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon are known to them, their belief seems to be that only one god exists, viz. Siva; and the other gods known to them are only attributes of Siva under different names, who is not only the chief deity, but the deity which comprises all others. This is at least the teaching of their priests, though the masses often understand these names to refer to different gods. Compare the above quoted statements with the more recent report of the indigenous views documented by Bakker (1997: 17–18): ‘they argued that, notwithstanding the assertions of many Western scholars, Hinduism is a monotheistic religion’. The Balinese teacher and thinker Sri Reshi Anandakusuma

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(1912–92) claimed that this was underlined by the creed of the religion, ‘Om sat, ekam ewa adwitı-yam’ (the Lord who penetrates everything, who establishes everything, who is eternal, infinite and omniscient, in reality He is one, without a second) (Anandakusuma 1966 II: 114–15). The Balinese succeeded in their efforts to persuade the central government of this in 1958. Although the appellation ‘Om sat, ekam ewa adwitı-yam’ is clearly taken from the canon of modern Indian Hinduism, the attributes following it are all found in Balinese scriptures, and hence are evidence of continuity.52 Anandakusuma’s statement stands as a telling metaphor testifying to the fact that the modern version of Balinese religion seems to have evolved from Indic S´aivism to form a mix with newly imported Hindu beliefs rather than being uniquely a reform of adat religiosity. The concept of the devotion to a single . . . deity – in the modern Balinese case, the ‘neutral’ San Hyan Widhi or San . . Hyan Tungal - should not therefore be interpreted as an invention but rather as a polarization of existing ideas, following the attempts by the reformers to align their religion with the dominant form of Hinduism in order to avoid the denomination of ‘sectarian’ coined by colonial scholarship and be recognized as a truly ‘world religion’.53 Furthermore, unlike the previous orientations, describing Balinese religion as a single monolithic entity or, conversely, as a plurality of beliefs and discourses only loosely related to one another,54 I believe that the most satisfying model applicable to the Balinese religious discourse is that of the dichotomy between ‘official’ (i.e., intellectual and literate) vs. ‘lay’ (i.e., ritualistic and embedded) dimensions of ancient cosmopolitan S´aiva religion as described by recent textual-historical research. In other words, alongside the popular dimension, a developed theological and philosophical perspective already characterized the Balinese scriptural tradition and was an essential element of the religious discourse.55 We do not need, therefore, to regard the official form of Agama Hindu either as an invention or a continuation of adat religiosity (as Howe maintains), or as a ‘purified’ form of agama, which lost its original purity because of adat infiltrations (as the Balinese maintained). As a working hypothesis, I propose to regard the official Agama Hindu as a development along ‘Neo-Hinduized’ lines of the pre-existing, and localized, text-focused elite tradition derived from Indic Brahmanical S´aivism, which was already opposed to the daily inclusivist, and embedded, worship of the commoners.56

Conclusion The present chapter is not meant to deny the important process of change and reform that Balinese religion has undergone in the past century. As I am very well aware, it would be easy to criticize the idea that early modern and contemporary Balinese religion represents a direct continuation of the Old Javano-Balinese religion, and I am far from maintaining such a claim. Rather, while calling attention to certain points of continuity that have been overlooked by recent scholarship, and showing that Balinese religious thought has

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developed along lines already present in the past tradition, I argue that the dynamics shaping the reform process have been insufficiently grasped, mostly on account of the scant attention paid to indigenous manuscript sources. Subscribing to the view of Stephen (2002: 63), according to whom ‘in Bali the anthropologist can hardly ignore the fact that written texts provide, in Balinese terms, the most detailed and respected level of indigenous exegesis’, I believe that an urgent desideratum of present-day scholarship is to try to understand the nature of the religious discourse by taking into account data from ancient textual sources and then try to contrast them with the newly imported beliefs from various (Neo-Hindu) trends; to try to determine the different textual strata within the available corpus through textual-historical research; and to focus on how the Balinese have (re-)interpreted, fractured and re-stated their own textual tradition at different occasions up to the present. To try to establish the nature of this discourse without taking into account the wealth of traditional scriptures available can be misleading and is bound to result in the creation of an ahistorical and reified image of Balinese religion, and in an inadequate grasp of the nature of the intellectual debate or, to agree with Hobart (1997: 134), of the local ‘presuppositions, commentaries and practices’. I hope to have conveyed the idea that a textual-historical perspective may enrich the current scholarly debate, adding a new dimension to our understanding of the complex phenomenon of Balinese religion.

Notes 1 Given the focus of the present volume of contributions, in this chapter I limit myself to a consideration of the work of anthropologists who have mainly dealt with aspects and dynamics of the modern reformed version of Balinese Agama Hindu. I am not unaware that more textually conscious approaches may be found in the works of anthropologists dealing with different aspects, such as Geertz (1991: 1–8), Wiener (1995: 82–4, 206–8), Hobart (1997: 126), Rubinstein (2000), or Stephen (2002, 2005). However, the main point of my argumentation, namely that Tutur literature has not yet been sufficiently, let alone properly, assessed, still remains valid. 2 Stephen’s monograph, besides being a study of Balinese mysticism based upon the paintings of two accomplished contemporary Balinese artists, offers an innovative, albeit still preliminary, interpretation of aspects of Balinese religion in comparison with features of Indic Tantrism. For a review, see Acri (2007). 3 In the Introduction to her book, Stephen (2005: 2) points out that such views on Balinese religion may coalesce into a popular image of Balinese religion that creates a distorted view of it – one that greatly underestimates the philosophical complexity of its beliefs and practices and, furthermore, distances it in the eyes of many from the great religious tradition to which it belongs: Hinduism. 4 The same ‘belletristic bias’ has been prominent in the post-modernist critique of the philological approach to the study of Balinese religion (Fox 2003, 2005). In dismissing the study of Old Javanese texts as a ‘point of access to the “earlier social, cultural and religious values” required for “understanding” contemporary

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Balinese practices’ (2005: 68), Fox chose to ignore the Tutur literature (and philological works on such literature), taking into consideration only secondary sources on Kakawin. 5 For a survey of the Tutur literature and of secondary sources, see Acri (2006). 6 In Howe (2001), the word ‘Tutur’ appears only once in fn. 6, p. 194, where it is stated that the modern Balinese version of the Hare Krishna movement maintains that Tutur contain original Balinese religion; in Howe (2005: 93), I found a single sentence on the issue, i.e. that some of the Agama Hindu teachings can be found in (some unspecified) Balinese palmleaf texts, but most of them are either unknown to ordinary Balinese or known in a very different way. 7 See, e.g. Miller (1984: 55), harshly criticizing Geertz’s ahistorical and misleading perception of Balinese religion as dominated by practical, rather than intellectual, activity. See also Hobart (1997: 126), according to whom for all his [i.e. Geertz’s] claims to be working from Balinese representations of their own past and polities, Geertz’s account is strikingly devoid of any critical consideration of the huge range of Balinese texts which might be relevant to such a study. 8 In harmony with Geertz (1973a: 185, 1976: 220), and against Hooykaas (1976: 238). 9 Soebadio, a Javanese-born woman trained in philology in the Netherlands, published an edition and translation of Tutur Jña-nasiddha-nta, which was her first and last publication in the field of Balinese literature and religion. As one may gather from her book, she never carried out anthropological fieldwork on the island. 10 As he himself admitted (e.g. Hooykaas 1962: 310), the Dutch scholar was a collector and philologist rather than an expert in theological matters, as he relegated the work of interpretation of the sources gathered by him to future generations of students. 11 I cannot avoid pointing out that Balinese religion has often been described with negative rather than positive characteristics, i.e. what it lacks instead of what it does consist of. Beginning with the nineteenth-century ‘Orientalist’ vision of a ‘defective’ Balinese Hinduism in comparison with the ‘pure’ form of Indian Hinduism – a vision the Balinese themselves appear to have introjected – this tendency has continued to be popular among modern anthropologists. 12 See Howe (2001: 148): ‘The creation of Agama Hindu is an attempt to add theological substance to and provide philosophical justification for traditional Balinese ritual practices by giving them a rational foundation’. See also Howe (2005: 93–4). 13 Picard (1997: 195) denies the existence among the Balinese of the very concept of ‘religion’, to him a product of the Western world, and points out that Balinese reformers were attempting to name their religion for, previously, it had not been seen as something distinct and in need of a specific name, being ‘not singled out as “religion”, or as a set of systematically coherent beliefs and practices that could be isolated from other aspects of life’. Picard’s reflections certainly bring out a fascinating question, which, regrettably, cannot be discussed in full on the present occasion (below, I limit myself to present evidence indicating that a division among Javano-Balinese texts dealing with separate aspects of religious experience was implemented). However, I point out that several anthropologists – Picard included – seem to raise awareness on such an issue with no consistency, for in certain instances the term ‘religion’ seems to be employed in an unproblematic manner (see, e.g. the use of such term in the quotations presented throughout this chapter). A similar attitude may be found in the use of the expression ‘world religion’, which is often referred to in scholarly literature but hardly discussed as a contested matter (for a critique, see Fitzgerald 1990). 14 Of course, this fact is also attributable to the lack of accessible philological studies and English translations of Tutur. See, however, Hobart’s (1997: 126) remark on

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Balinese texts: ‘That most of the texts have not yet been translated … is questionable grounds for someone interested in Balinese representations to ignore them.’ Unfortunately, there have been so far few scholarly attempts in this direction. A preliminary step has been taken by Bakker (1993). A complete survey of such kind of literature would require a separate study. For an account of the situation until the 1960s, see Hooykaas (1963). After the ‘elite-theory’ propounded by Geertz stood unchallenged for more than three decades, a new standpoint has been advanced in recent studies, showing that pemangku, balian and other categories of traditional healers among the general population based their ‘specialized’ practices on manuscript sources (Rubinstein 2000: 13–38). According to Miller (1984: 55), ‘there is not only a deep tradition of learning among Brahmanas as well as Satrias and Wesias, but among certain Sudra groups, in particular Pasek and Bendesa, there is also a deep tradition of literacy and religious enquiry’ (see also Forge 1980: 232–3). I see no reason to consider the testimony of Crawfurd, chastised by Guermonprez (2001: 272) for being ‘héritier des Lumières et animé de cette curiosité orientaliste’, as unreliable. His precious account indeed reveals him to have been a man gifted by remarkable acumen and sense of observation; note, for example, that he was strongly inclined to believe – unlike Friederich (1849: 10) – that the Veda on Java and Bali had no existence, even though the word weda was found there (Crawfurd 1820: 127); and that he went against the idea that Balinese civilization was degraded before Indian ‘colonization’ – a rather modern view (ibid.: 158). Wr.haspatitattwa 4 attributes the authorship of the scriptures to the Lord Sada-s´iva, and 26 glosses a-gama as the ‘sacred scriptures which are imparted by the master’ (see also Wr.haspatitattwa 20 and Tattwajña-na 10). These facts notwithstanding, Guermonprez (2001: 277, fn. 14) claims that: La conception hindoue d’une révélation divine n’existe pas à Bali. Les prêtres de Siwa ont construit leur légitimité sacerdotale non pas en référence à des textes révélés (voir, par exemple, les Agama dans la tradition shivaïte de l’Inde du Sud), mais à leur ancêtre Mpu Dwijéndra … , un brahmane venu de JavaMajapahit et doté de pouvoirs surnaturels lui valant le qualificatif de sakti.

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In my experience, this is simply not true. Many priests and intellectuals in Bali still believe that Mpu Dwijendra did not compose all the available scriptures by himself but rather he was the one who brought the holiest among the revealed scriptures from Majapahit to Bali. See Wr.haspatitattwa 2.1-6. Picard (1999b: 19) points out that in Surya Kanta nr. 3:1 (1925) it is stated that the Balinese tidak tahoe membedakan jang mana adat dan mana agama, i.e. ‘do not know how to distinguish tradition from religion’. Below I attempt to show that a fracture between the intellectuals’ perception of the religious tradition and the lay practical approach already existed in pre-colonial times, as the account of Crawfurd would suggest. According to I Wajan Bhadra, librarian at the Kirtya library and editor of Djatajoe, referred to by Swellengrebel as one of the most knowledgeable scholars of his island’s culture and religion, ‘the ordinary people of Bali do not know well enough the essential traits of their own religion’ (Swellengrebel 1984: 71). This corresponds to the ideal division into four parts, i.e. doctrine (vidya-), yoga, behaviour (carya-) and ritual (kriya-) that a S´aiva Sanskrit scripture must possess in order to be considered complete and authoritative. The most practice-oriented and heterogeneous among the published Tutur, namely the Jña-nasiddha-nta (Soebadio 1971), only describes (hyper-)ritualistic practices applied to a form of internalized yoga, esoteric initiation and syllabic mysticism.

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This is different from the Suryasewana and the other ritual compilations published by Hooykaas. The same piece of information is also found in Bosch: ‘the novice cannot receive the sacrament of consecration as a priest from the hands of his spiritual father, the Brahman priest, without years of study in the holy books and thorough theoretical knowledge’ (Het vraagstuk van de Hindoe-kolonisatie van den Archipel [1946], cited in Swellengrebel 1984: 62). This may have to do with several factors, including the different time and milieu of composition, and the heterogeneous and fragmentary character of the corpus. See Soebadio (1971: 62–3): ‘taking into consideration the speculative parts of the Jña-nasiddha-nta and other Tutur, speculation had been a most important subject in religious life before, certainly of no less importance than ritual’. As a matter of fact, the denominations of Tutur and Tattwa often overlap. However, to judge from their contents, it is clear that there existed separate categories of texts, the titles of which have been re-shaped in later times (Hooykaas 1962). Furthermore, one has to keep in mind that the term Tutur is nowadays generally used as a general denomination of Old Javano-Balinese religious literature. And being, indeed, closer in content to a Tutur rather than a Tattwa. On the relation between Gan.apatitattwa, Tutur Kamoks.an and Tutur Adhya-tmika, see Hooykaas (1962). A florilegium of gnomic Sanskrit verses provided with an Old Javanese commentary (Vira 1962), hence not a Tutur. See Sudarshana Devi (1957, 1958, 1962). The idea of a scriptural canon is traceable to South Asia, where the S´aiva religion developed and from where it was transmitted to Bali and the rest of ancient Southeast Asia. It is true that in South Asia, not unlike on Bali: a uniform and centralized religious doctrine and practice never developed, and authority was never vested in a central organization comparable to the Roman Church; rather, the correct interpretation of the meaning of the sacred scriptures was either the prerogative of individual teachers or matter of debate in public assemblies of learned men and religious masters. (Von Stietencron 1995: 71)

Yet each S´aiva tradition, whether monistic or dualistic, recognized a canon of authoritative scriptures, whose ‘orthodoxy’ was established on the basis of their leaning toward, respectively, monism or dualism. The acceptance or rejection of the teaching of one particular text was a sufficient reason for claiming the inferiority of a rival school. 33 See, e.g., Wr.haspatitattwa 2 and 52; similar passages are found in the unpublished Old Javanese Tutur Dharma Pa-tañjala (see below), preserved on a single manuscript of West Javanese origin. 34 See Ramstedt (2004a: 14); with regard to karma and moks.a, see Bakker (1993: 72–3), and Guermonprez (2001: 278). Howe (2005: 72), by contrast, maintains that ‘though ideas about karma can be found in indigenous Balinese texts, the doctrine has not had much influence among ordinary Balinese until relatively recently’. In agreeing with Howe that these elements already existed in the Tutur literature, I should like to point out that local proverbs widespread among the Balinese of all social classes and ages seem to refer to the law of karma pala in prosaic terms, illustrating situations and images understandable to anybody (Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan 1984: 6–10, 18–20). My Balinese informant, I Dewa Gede Catra, is also of the same opinion. 35 The discovery and careful study of such corpus are a relatively recent development, attributable to the efforts of Sanskritists attached to various institutions throughout

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the world and especially to the centre of the École française d’Extrême-Orient in Pondicherry, whose manuscripts collection is now under the patronage of UNESCO. I am currently editing and translating this remarkable scripture as a part of my doctoral dissertation. Picard (1999b: 27) pointed out that the journal Surya Kanta was defined as a ‘disseminator of traditional books and promoter of progress for all’, as the reformers and progressive wanted to discriminate between right and wrong customs and manners on the basis of the teachings contained in traditional lontar. Similarly, the reason why the association Satiti Gama Siwa Boda was founded by I Goesti Poetoe Djlantik was in order to pursue the ‘implementation of the prescriptions contained in various s´a-sana-manuscripts … which call for respect of the hierarchy and encourage the people to give donations to the priests and the r.s.is’ (quoted in Bakker 1993: 42), while the members of the Santi Adnjana ‘studied the traditional Old Javanese texts and searched for clarification of the rituals, the cremation ceremony, in particular’ (ibid.: 40). The case of the Aji Sangkhya (Jelantik 1947; Hooykaas 1950–51), which may be regarded as perhaps the last speculative Old Javanese Tutur/Tattwa composed on Bali, is particularly interesting. According to the author, the text was compiled in order to present a ‘rationalized’ form of religion. However, the text happens to largely, and detailedly, draw upon other Tattwa, most notably the Wr.haspatitattwa. The only remarkable doctrinal difference with the Balinese tradition is the introduction of the eightfold Yoga instead of the sixfold one diffused in the totality of Javano-Balinese Tutur (with the only exception of the Darmmapa-tañjala). This fact, according to Ensink (1974: 198), is due to the influence of the ‘Kitab Joga Soetra Patandjali, which is a Malay translation, by intermediary of a Javanese and a Dutch translation, of Woods’s (1914) translation of YS’ [i.e. Patañjali’s Yogasu-tra]. In 1937, the leaders of Bali Darma Laksana enlisted the help of a commission of literati to compile a ‘Holy Book’, for Tutur were not deemed to be proper Holy Books. The reasons given for the commission’s failure to do so is that in Bali agama could not be divorced from adat, which differ from one village to another and hence cannot form a valid religious canon for the whole island (see Picard in the Introduction in this volume). From this, two considerations arise: (1) that there was considerable confusion and discordance among the Balinese as to what the differences were between adat and agama (Picard 1999b: 19, citing Surya Kanta nr. 3:1 of 1925); and (2) that among the reasons adduced there was none claiming that Tutur lacked doctrinal items. Namely, European colonizers, priests and scholars first, and Jakarta-based functionaries of the Indonesian Ministry of Religion later. I agree with Bakker’s remark (1993: 302): ‘India’s contribution can be seen in their thoughts on modern science, the relationship with other religions and family planning, but as regards their thinking on God, man and the cosmos the influence of India is small.’ On the other hand, one should point out that Anandakusuma (1957: 39–40), when treating the topic of ‘Holy books and prophets’ common to all major religions (but not, according to him, to the Balinese one), indicates the Veda as the sacred scripture of the Balinese Hindus (sic) and the R . s.is as their prophets. It should be noted that the Veda are hardly in conformity with a Holy Book providing a coherent basis for doctrine, being written in a language which was not understood even in India from the classical period onwards; also in this regard, he was merely following the lip service paid to the Veda by Indian (elite) Hindus. In this connection, I point out that, although the caturweda and their respective names were infrequently mentioned in Old Javano-Balinese texts, no fragments traceable to Vedic scriptures have ever been found there, apart from the form of Tantricized Ga-yatrı- mantra that is found in the Atharvas´ira Upan.is.ad, the Maha-na-ra-yan.a Upan.is.ad, and in a large number of Sanskrit Tantric scriptures. Indeed,

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the term weda and its verbal counterpart ma-weda in the Javano-Balinese tradition refer to (the muttering of) mantras and formulas contained in Tutur and ritual manuals. Ramstedt (2004a: 24) appears to be aware of the problem without, however, attempting to find a better denomination in order to refer to the pre-colonial version of Balinese religion. On this issue, see also Thapar (1989). This laity-orientated S´aiva inclusivism was apparently a common phenomenon in ancient South Asia, Bali and Cambodia (Sanderson 2004: 377, 436, 440). As for the invocation of the ‘One God Allah’ at the lotus-seat in a Balinese household temple, see Swellengrebel (1984: 72). I am very well aware that both Balinese and Western scholarly views from the early twentieth century till now agree in describing the form of religion inherited from Majapahit as a ‘coalition’ of S´aivism and Buddhism, calling it ‘the cult of S´ivaBuddha’. A careful reading of the textual sources, however, reveals that Buddhism maintained a largely inferior and subsidiary role. Reserving the display of the full set of evidence for another occasion, here I limit myself to presenting the statements of the early travellers that are in agreement with my claim. Of course, one may object that the reports of Balinese views written by foreign visitors presented below could have been influenced by the expectations of the ‘Orientalist’ reporters in question, especially with regard to their desire to portray Balinese society in terms of a fallen populace opposed to a learned priesthood who preserved the ancient traditions. Although this might be true to a certain extent, I noted that those early testimonies, and especially that of Crawfurd, have received an unfair treatment by scholars who have single-mindedly perused them in search of hegemonic velleities and other ‘Orientalistic’ misconceptions. However, Boon (1977: 22) pointed out that Crawfurd’s work on Java and Bali presents a blend of practical information and anthropological observations which is sensitive to complexities in the diffusion of customs across cultures. Contrary to the received stereotypes, the dictionary [of the Indian Islands by Crawfurd] even hints at possible flexibilities in the Balinese caste system … Yet, Crawfurd’s account of Bali-Hindu religion cannot escape the limits of its age; it adopts as representative the uppercrust.

As evidence supporting this last negative judgement, Boon simply mentions the contents of the statements that will be cited below here, without explaining why they should be considered unreliable. To my mind, Crawfurd’s account is valuable in the present discussion insofar as it represents a precious description of certain tracts of Balinese religion and society that is devoid of much of the later themes that characterized the debate over issues such as agama and adat in twentiethcentury Bali. 47 Note that, among the several denominations under which Balinese religion was recognized until 1952, there figured Agama Siwa, Siwa Darma, Siwa Sasana. In 1949, the first congress of the Paruman Para Pandita preferred the denomination of Agama Tirta to Agama Siwa and Agama Siwa-Buda. Finally, in 1952, an agreement was reached upon Agama Hindu Bali, whose universal aspiration was in line with the principles of the newly born Indonesian state (I am indebted to Michel Picard for these precisions). 48 I point out that several Tutur contain categorical statements emphasizing the superiority of internalized, non-material objects of worship over external and material objects, such as embodiments of deities (see above, note 24). See, e.g., the enumeration of the various types of lingas in Jña-nasiddha-nta 16; Gan.apatitattwa 11–19; Maha-jña-na 21–28.

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49 For a similar view, compare the statement of I Wajan Bhadra on the ‘polytheistic’ everyday worship of the majority of the Balinese, ‘lacking the religious instruction’ (in Swellengrebel 1984: 71). 50 See also Crawfurd (1820: 237–8): ‘The Brahmins of Bali may be considered genuine Hindus, but in general the people are left to their local superstitions.’ 51 The passage has been translated from the Dutch. 52 See, for example, Wr.haspatitattwa 7-10; 14; Tattwajña-na 3-4. . . 53 As Forge (1980: 229) rightly notes, the worship of San Hyan Widhi was acceptable ´ not only to Saivas but also to the Balinese Buddhists. 54 See especially Fox (2005: 88) who, recalling the concept of heteroglossia coined by Bakhtin, described Balinese religion as irreducible to a system, and reflecting the messiness of everyday life. 55 This intellectual dimension may remind us of a ‘great tradition’, which, according to Redfield, is provided with a set of sacred scriptures; with a class of literati who convey its content to the masses; with a sacred geography and a sacred calendar to position these activities (Ramstedt 2004a: 23–4). Barth (1993: 217), having stated that ‘Bali-Hinduism must be acknowledged to be fundamentally embedded and decentered’, is forced to admit that ‘[y]et it would make little sense to deny it its character as a great tradition. It has successfully reproduced a Hindu heritage of theology, philosophy, literature, and arts over seven hundred years after contact with the originating Hindu centers was broken.’ I am aware that critics of the dichotomy of ‘little’ vs. ‘great’ tradition, or of the very concept of ‘popular Hinduism’ (Fuller 1992), have pointed out that these two dimensions might have been more permeable and mutually linked than it is generally assumed. While the drawing of clear-cut boundaries is certainly a mistake, for there exist certain areas of overlap, I believe that these objections do not undermine the theoretical validity of such a dichotomy applied to the Balinese case, where we find strikingly different levels of localization, embeddedness and syncretism at the opposite sides of the religious spectrum. Although the textual knowledge of the Brahmana houses was to a certain extent involved in the Balinese ritual praxis of the populace, the pedanda have clearly been the primary caretakers of the metaphysical tradition represented by the Tutur literature. On the other way round, other ‘fallen’ groups, such as the healers and magicians called balian, may have partaken as well, to a certain extent, in this tradition, embedding it in a practice-oriented context. 56 Hence, we do not necessarily need to agree with Ramstedt (2004a: 24–5), who hypothesized the occurrence of the phenomenon of de-Sanskritization, for the traditions might have been already separated from the beginning of the process of Sanskritization.

7

The withdrawal of the gods Remarks on ritual trance-possession and its decline in Bali Annette Hornbacher

Trance-possession is a core feature of Balinese ritual that has attracted the interest of scholars and travellers since the first ethnographic reports on Bali. This fascination corresponds to the fact that, from a Western perspective, possession by spirits or gods seems highly puzzling and in need of explanation because it contradicts Western ideas of person and reality. Nevertheless, comparably little has been written on ritual possession in Bali and almost no scholarly attention has been paid to the fact that today possession has largely disappeared from the public temple rituals of many villages.1 I came into contact with ritual possession – or rather with its decline – during a research project on the kinaesthetic representation of cosmological knowledge in Balinese ritual dance in several villages between Ubud and Gianyar (Hornbacher 2005). Based on classical ethnographies on ritual drama I had expected to find trance-possession, but no single case of ritual possession occurred during dozens of ritual dance and drama performances which I had visited in the years of my research since 1998. Puzzled by this fact, I interviewed villagers of different ages about their local experience and interpretation of possession, and I learned that possession – and particularly the public forms of theatrical and mimetic possession such as sanghyang jaran (where a man is possessed by the spirit of a horse), as well as sanghyang dedari (where small girls are possessed by heavenly nymphs) – had indeed been an essential part of local ritual up to the late 1970s, but since then had come to a complete stop after the death of the last ritual medium. Older people still remembered the places and forms of these local possession rituals while younger people stated that they had never seen a person possessed during the temple rituals of their village, and those who had moved to the village several years ago claimed that possession simply did not occur in this region. It seemed that possession not only had vanished from the ritual but moreover from public discourse within a few decades. I was confused because of both the fundamental change within ritual practice and the fact that even older villagers seemed indifferent to it: while they willingly told me about the different types of former possession rituals, my attempts to understand this remarkable transformation were usually met with evasive replies. However, in some situations the villagers obviously still

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expected that trance-possession could or even should occur: this was the case when the mask of a holy Barong from one of those village temples which had been famous in earlier times for its possession rituals had been renovated.2 When the Barong’s consecration ceremony was performed, states of trancepossession had been expected. My Balinese host who, as a klian or head of the village hamlet (banjar), felt responsible for the success of the ritual, conspiratorially told me that I had to expect something particularly sacred.3 He was visibly concerned when in this ritual – as in all other rituals of his village – neither possession nor supernatural phenomena had occurred. The ritual performance obviously missed its expected climax because a group of men with keris, who had been waiting to perform a special type of ritualized possession behaviour (ngurek), went away without having achieved their aim: they simply had not performed their part. However, when I tried to discuss this issue with my host the next day, he did not want to comment on it and stated instead that the ceremony had been correctly and thus successfully performed. In view of these ambiguities, it seems that the decline of Balinese ritual possession is to a large extent a tacit and therefore often ignored process, which has not attracted enough attention so far. This enigmatic simultaneity of indifference or silence, on the one hand, and of tacit expectation, on the other hand, corresponds to an underlying struggle over religious concepts and hierarchies which I intend to analyse in this chapter. Moreover, possession confronts us with an epistemological problem, because the idea of a non-human spirit entering a human body and acting through it is not an acknowledged part of the modern concept of reality and personality, and thus is not easily explained within a Western scientific framework, which associates possession almost invariably with psychopathologies such as hysteria or multiple personality disorder. Given these theoretical problems, a scientific approach to possession should start with some basic considerations on this epistemological gap between the opposing interpretations, which mirrors a hierarchical power relationship of different types of knowledge that is part of the phenomenon: I suggest that the current decline of Balinese ritual possession reflects a marginalization of local concepts of divinity in favour of a normalization both of ritual and human identity. This implies a new interpretation of possession in terms of psychological deviance as well as a standardized conception of religion in terms of an increasingly doctrinal and theoretical Hinduism. The shift from Bali’s traditional ritualism to religious orthodoxy and written monotheist doctrine (agama) has been analysed by several scholars with regard to Indonesian politics of religion (Bakker 1993; Howe 2001; Ramstedt 2004a; Picard in the Introduction to this volume). I would like to contribute to this discussion by arguing that the decline of ritual possession matches the current standardization of local religious practice as well as the Enlightenment’s conception of the autonomous and self-controlled individual. In light of this consideration, the disappearance of possession mirrors an

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underlying power struggle, not only between different concepts of divinity and religion but of reality and personality as well. Given this complex relationship, my following reflections do not aim at a general theory of possession, which would presuppose that it were an empirical fact. Rather, I will analyse the decline of Balinese ritual possession in relation to socio-religious hierarchies in Bali and to a struggle over local or global frameworks of interpretation.

Universalist interpretive frames I: is the decline of possession a consequence of tourism and modernization? In order to understand the significant decline of ritual possession, Max Weber’s theory of modernization as rationalization (1988) seems to be the first choice, all the more so because in Bali tourism triggers a rapid commodification, and thus rationalization of cultural and ritual practices. Mass tourism rapidly increased during the 1970s, after the opening of an international airport, and this was the precondition for an all-pervading commodification of Bali’s cultural heritage, including its ritual practices (Vickers 1989; Picard 1996). Today, 3.5 million Balinese are visited – and looked at – by more than 5 million tourists, who demand – and pay for – the representation of ‘traditional’ Balinese culture and religion. In an act of self-defence against uncontrollable commodification, Balinese officials tried to restrict and to organize the marketing of ritual by differentiating between profane (provan) and sacred (sakral) dances, and by restricting commercialization to the former category (Picard 1996: 151–3). However, deciding on the demarcation line between provan and sakral turned out to be difficult in practice, since this opposition was borrowed from the world-view of Western modernity that did not match Balinese thought and practice. A strictly secular reality does not exist in Balinese interpretation, because the world in its materialistic aspects (sekala) is determined by the invisible forces of spiritual beings (niskala). If in contrast to this spiritual world-view the process of rationalization via tourism, along with a materialistic ontology, was the main reason for a decline of ritual possession, we should expect a direct relationship with the most advanced centres of tourism, which is not the case. The theory seems convincing with respect to the region of Ubud, which is the centre of Bali’s cultural tourism and where today possession in dance and drama is hardly to be found. Yet the theory is contradicted by villages close to the sea, such as Sanur or Jimbaran, where mass tourism has developed most quickly and most pervasively, while ritual trance-possession is still common. Beyond that, from a Balinese point of view the relationship between commercialization and possession should rather be considered the other way round: since according to Balinese interpretation ritual trance-possession proves the presence of supernatural power, it has the potential to purify and to ward off destruction or witchcraft. In consequence of this, possession is

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supposed to occur preferably in tourist places and in urban settings, because here – in the centres of commodifying forces and capitalism – hate and envy among people, and thus witchcraft and cosmic disorder prevail and need the presence of gods to counteract it. Many Balinese therefore directly link witchcraft as well as possession rituals to tourism and tourist centres, whereas they clearly oppose the commodification of possession that is a prevailing feature of revitalized possession rituals in other regions of Southeast Asia (Endres 2008). Similar problems arise with regard to Weber’s classical modernization theory, according to which a decline of charismatic religion is to be expected as a normal side-effect of rationalization and urbanization. Yet, this rule of thumb does not quite apply to Bali, because in remote areas of eastern Bali villages are to be found where trance-possession has not been practised traditionally – while it still occurs in urban centres and particularly in Denpasar. The case of Bali thus seems to be complex, not least because here possession is a spontaneous feature of ritual practice rather than an institutionalized part of liturgical order: possession occurs in most cases additionally and unpredictably within a ritual performance, thus representing its potential for transformation and transgression rather than a traditional ritual structure. Ritual possession is therefore both essential and accidental, which at least partially explains why the Balinese do not care much about its disappearance: possession has always appeared and disappeared as an additional aspect of ritual performance, and the disappearance of purifying possession dances such as sanghyang dedari may simply indicate, as several Balinese have explained to me, that today epidemics no longer occur and thus possession ritual is no longer needed. The main problem here seems to be the evolutionary aspect of Weber’s rationalization theory. To speak about decline or disappearance is not quite exact as long as we think of an unconscious, spontaneous or organic development towards global modernity and increasing rationality. I witnessed in some cases that spontaneous trance-possession during rituals still occurred, even in places where villagers stated that they had no possession any more, yet interestingly the behaviour of those who went into trance-possession had been explained as psychopathological disorder or as fake by the responsible ritual specialists of the village. I will argue therefore that possession does not just disappear as a side-effect of global modernization and rationalization but is rather actively marginalized, ignored and even suppressed by a new class of religious authorities.

Universalist interpretive frames II: possession in Western psychology, philosophy, and theology Before analyzing the new interpretive hegemony that is currently being imposed upon Balinese ritual, I would like to start with some basic considerations on the epistemological bias of psychological interpretations of

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possession. In their book, Suryani and Jensen stated that possession in Bali has not changed remarkably in the course of time, and this thesis corresponds to their conviction that ritual possession can be interpreted in line with hysteria and other Western psychopathologies as a general feature of human psychology (Suryani and Jensen 1993). Contrary to Suryani and Jensen, I argue that, from a Balinese perspective, possession is neither a universal nor a predominantly psychological phenomenon, but rather a form of bodily transformation and collective interaction that should be interpreted in terms of socio-cultural theory, all the more so because it has disappeared as a very phenomenon within Western history once the theoretical framework of psychology became dominant. This thesis corresponds to Foucault’s considerations regarding the emergence of the ‘modern soul’ from embodied techniques of self-control. Following Foucault, culture-specific body techniques, rather than a universal reason, function as a powerful means for the construction of modern personality as an identifiable and reasonable subject who matches the requirements of capitalist production and political control (Foucault 1975). In view of this context of a modern ‘disciplinary society’, it seems reasonable to consider the decline of ritual possession in Bali not only within a local field of ‘religion’ but with respect to the framework of global disciplinary power. Foucault reminds us that the self-contained reasonable and self-conscious subject of Western Enlightenment philosophy and psychology is not a universalist matter of fact, but is socially constructed by means of powerful techniques of discipline aiming in the first place at the human body. As a consequence of this, psychological deviance as the counterpart of this normalization has been described by Hacking (1995) as a social construction rather than a universal phenomenon. This epistemological criticism corresponds to the anthropological investigations of Bourguignon (1979) and many other scholars who have convincingly argued that although altered states of consciousness display physiological and thus universalist models of reaction that can be triggered by drugs, they differ widely in their specific individual experience, performance, social function and meaning, all of which are informed by socio-cultural interpretations of reality and human identity. To remember this mutual dependency between the phenomenon of possession and its culture-specific interpretation is important from a Balinese perspective, where psychological interpretations are introduced as a modern framework for the reinterpretation of local practices, as we will see. Regarding this shift of interpretive frames, it is worth remembering that in Western history, which in this case means Christian tradition and Enlightenment theory, possession almost invariably has been abhorred and rejected as demonic attack or as pathological self-alienation from individual autonomy. This rejection stands in contrast not merely to the Balinese traditional appreciation of possession but also to Greek antiquity, where states of possession were accepted as manifestations of divine ambivalence, which had to be ritually

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acknowledged as Euripide’s Bacchae shows. This situation changed significantly with the emergence of monotheism, where divine ambiguity is no longer compatible with the idea of a per se good creator God. Accordingly, possession has been and still is radically rejected as proof of demonic influence in Christianity and it is conquered by ritualized forms of exorcism which are still practised in the Catholic Church. It thus seems that the collective rejection of possession as well as the modern concept of doctrinal religion, rationality and personality co-developed within early modernity, aiming at a comprehensive normalization of both the human body and religion. The Christian abhorrence of possession has thereby been integrated within, rather than replaced by, the new epistemological framework of science and psychology that offered another interpretation but implied the same rejection of possession: if it was abominated in Christianity as a sign of satanic influence, it is suppressed in secular modernity because it threatens the basic values and authority of what Foucault has termed the modern disciplinary society. While keeping in mind this interrelationship of psychological and religious normalization in Western history, I would like to examine the role of different actors within a similar process of normalization that currently takes place in Bali. This is interesting all the more so because in Bali too the decline of possession corresponds to an increasingly doctrinal monotheism that informs the modern Indonesian policy of religion.

Balinese variants of possession and their interpretation The Balinese discourse on possession differs remarkably not merely from the analytical framework of Western psychology but from Western theological and philosophical interpretations as well. Although in Bali particular forms of mediumistic possession among healers (balian) may imply a period of individual disease, possession in general is neither seen as the expression of psychological deviance nor of evil forces. In most cases it is displayed by persons who show completely normal behaviour in their everyday life, which applies particularly to those forms of possession that occur spontaneously and occasionally during temple rituals among the performers of sacred dances and dramas or among worshippers (Belo 1960: 10). In any case, possession is supposed to be a performative self-representation of divine beings, ranging from gods and spirits to divine ancestors, which my Balinese informants usually described as dewa and in very few cases as ‘demons’ (kala), who are supposed to be followers of the gods.4 While the identification of these divinities did not seem of crucial importance to them, it is obvious that the Balinese concept of god or divinity includes – in contrast to monotheistic theologies – demonic and destructive aspects, thereby displaying an essentially ambivalent idea of divinity that clearly contrasts with the monotheistic Christian opposition between an essentially good creator God and his evil satanic counterpart. In consequence of this, the term ‘god’

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can be attributed in Bali to demonic beings such as the above-mentioned Barong and his counterpart, the horrific witch Rangda;5 and gods (dewa) are not always blissful but may cause pestilence and destruction, such as Ratu Gede Mas Mecaling, the Great Lord with Golden Fangs, from the neighbouring island Nusa Penida, who is revered throughout Bali though he is said to cause terrible epidemics during the rainy season and has to be appeased with offerings and dance (Hauser-Schäublin 1997: 171).6 As an outcome of this divine ambivalence, the interpretation, differentiation and validation of gods and demons vary according to the situation as well as to the position of a person, which implies that states of possession are open to varying individual interpretations. This perspective fits with Belo’s claim that the identification of a divine being entering a person during possession may vary according to the social status of the interpreter: she describes a predominantly Brahmana village where ritual trance possession was not customary and whose members only reluctantly accepted that possession during a ritual was ‘real’ instead of fake (Belo 1960: 111). In another village some people from the lower nobility used to go into trance but tended to blame commoners, who were spontaneously possessed, for not being really ‘pure’ and thus being entered only by demons – which they labelled as dewa kala – but not by god in his purest manifestation (widi), which they claimed for themselves (ibid.: 73). We can see that the conception of divinity that is related to possession depends on the social position of the possessed as well as on the idea of purity: in villages where possession is regularly practised today, I was told that the gods would enter only those who are spiritually pure. For my interlocutors, most of them commoners, who regularly experienced possession as part of their temple rituals, the fact of ritual possession proved the spiritual purity of the possessed. Beyond that, they did not differentiate between undesirable demonic possession and divine possession but rather between real possession and theatrical pretence. In contrast to this, a man from the nobility in another village worried a lot when he had been possessed spontaneously, because he was not sure whether a god (dewa) or only a demon (kala) had entered his body. To him, the fact of possession was not evidence enough, perhaps because in his village possession had almost entirely disappeared, and he felt, moreover, that possession by a demon (kala) was not appropriate to his aristocratic rank and his more philosophical interest in matters of religion. Thus, different interpretations of possession seem to be a traditional feature indicating both the wide range of hermeneutic variance and a significant ambivalence concerning Balinese concepts of divinity and worship, both varying markedly according to an individual’s position within this stratified society. I will return to the social hierarchies related with possession in more detail later, to discuss first some basic features of contemporary variance and discourse concerning possession. The description is grounded in participant observation, including informal interviews with the inhabitants of several

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South Balinese villages, among them specialists in the ritual handling of trance-possession, priests (pemangku), and trancers. I will not name the villages because my informants asked me to keep the data anonymous. Interestingly, they were well aware both of the unbridgeable gap between their own conceptions and those of Western modernity, and of the fact that today possession rituals easily become targets of sensational tourism, which they tried to avoid at any cost. I was not even allowed to videotape their possession rituals. This reluctance to share an essential feature of traditional ritual performance with foreigners is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that the Balinese are extremely willing to commoditize large parts of their cultural heritage and ritual life. The fact that in Bali possession is almost entirely excluded from this rule can therefore be understood as an implicit statement concerning its ritual and spiritual importance. Nevertheless, the awareness that possession is a highly contested matter seems even more characteristic of younger people than of the elderly, most likely because younger persons, who have undergone formal education at schools, are equally well acquainted with local and Western concepts of person and reality, and thus realize the deep gap between the two conceptual frameworks. Some of them feel embarrassed or even repelled by the dissociative or cruel aspects of possession, such as the devouring of live chicks or the drinking of blood from slaughtered animals which are offered to the gods. It may be due to this clash between Balinese and Western world-views that in one case elderly villagers had no objections when I asked whether I could videotape the local possession ritual, while younger villagers asked me to stop, because according to them the essential aspect of possession, i.e. the transformative or powerful presence of a god,7 could not be technically fixed or represented by a camcorder that would at best preserve the external aspect of divine sakti, and in the worst case would threaten my health.8 Generally speaking, possession in Bali is not primarily linked to personal suffering or affliction, but to a state of transgression that implies a loss of individual consciousness or a state of trance.9 While in Christianity possession may be diagnosed as an explanation for disease, the Balinese definition of trance-possession is invariably based on the radically different behaviour and speech of a person, i.e. on its transformative, performative – if not theatrical – character. Within this general frame, many different variants of trance-possession can be found, ranging from possession dance and theatre to violent forms of spontaneous possession behaviour. Beyond this, mediumistic or prophetic types of possession may occur, either in temples or in private settings, when traditional healers are entered by an ancestor spirit of their clients.10 Public forms of possession occur among spontaneously possessed worshippers at temple rituals or among the performers of ritual dance and drama, who are seen as the temporary receptacle of divine power (sakti) or as mediums of communication between the visible or material world (sekala) and the invisible or spiritual dimension of reality (niskala).

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Possession thus mediates between a community and divinities who deliver their spiritual power and support, as well as their criticism or advice to the worshippers. This interpretation fits with the idea of Balinese temple rituals as puja, or invitation to gods to descend from their heavenly abode and enjoy the offerings and homage made to them. Within this conceptual framework, possession occurs if one of the gods has entered a human being in order to communicate directly with the worshipping community. The possessed are seen as divine mediators who embody the beneficial presence of gods and ancestors, and consequently the idea of exorcism or therapy, which is linked to the Christian and Western concept of possession as affliction, is not known in Bali. This basic difference implies different concepts of reality and personality as well. While in Western modernity, possession is described – and treated – as deviant behaviour indicating an afflicted or dissociated individual soul, Balinese interpretations focus upon the community as the target of mediumistic possession, and refer to gods and spirits who are seen as the true agents of possession. In consequence, states of possession are not explained as an unconscious behaviour of the human individual but rather as the agency of a god who is said to have arrived or descended from invisibility (niskala) within the human body that temporarily becomes (nadi) a divine being and serves as the material sitting place (pelinggih) for the divine soul. As a result, ecstatic techniques used by an individual in order to trigger possession – as described by Eliade (1972) regarding shamanism – do not exist in Bali. The most common words for possession are kerauhan (arrival), kelinggihan (possession) and nadi (to become) – the former focusing upon divine agency, the latter referring to the passive transformation of the possessed, who is called the pelinggih or seat of a god by using the same word as for the wooden shrines which serve as temporary sitting places of the invisible gods during temple rituals. In trance-possession, this temporary resting place is the human body that is supposed to be transformed by the powerful presence of a god. These Balinese ideas reveal an interesting aspect of local interpretation: while in Christianity as well as in modern psychology, possession is seen as a state of dissociation regarding the human soul or consciousness, in Balinese interpretation the individual’s soul is not affected at all, because it is supposed to have left the body before another – divine – soul has entered. Possession thus is focused on the human body, which is said to be the kulit or skin for the arriving divinity. This interpretation fits with a concept of human personality that neither implies the modern idea of an autonomous, coherent and identical subject, nor the idea of an organic identity or essential relationship between body and soul. From a Balinese perspective, individuality is not defined as unitary or homogeneous but rather as a composition of different social relationships and spiritual agents, by means of which a person can be identified according to the situation.11 An individual is created in the first place as the interface of

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her/his so-called elder siblings, the kanda empat, which are born with her/him as spirited entities: blood, amniotic fluid, vernix caseosa, and placenta (Weck 1986). Moreover, the child’s identity is defined above all in relation to the ancestor’s soul being reincarnated, as well as by the taksu or family spirit, which is the epitome of the talents that return over the generations. This taksu, that inspires mediumistic healers as well as temple mediums, plays an important role within the individual process of identity definition. Beyond this, Geertz has shown that each individual is defined by his or her position within society: the name of a Balinese changes according to his clan, family status and position, and most important, according to generation (Geertz 1966). The identity of a person is thus neither defined by universal reason nor seen as an essential unity of mind and body, but rather as a flexible composition of different and relatively independent elements and minds. According to this conception, possession does not reveal a suppressed or unconscious facet of an individual, but it rather indicates the complete absence of the personal soul from the body that is left as a material container or kulit, which literally means skin.12 Accordingly, ritual specialists explained to me that possession could only occur if the human soul was willing – and able – to leave the body in order to surrender this kulit completely and passively to the will of a god, over whose identity and intentions the individual trancer has no control. His soul is completely disaffected, unchanged and unconscious outside of the body, which is literally said to be empty (suung). The only precondition from the side of the possessed is therefore surrender and selfless ritual service on behalf of the gods and the community, or in Balinese terms ngayah, a word which pertains to every kind of voluntary work that is needed to accomplish a temple ritual, ranging from the cutting of grass in the temple court to the performance of ritual dances. Some of the possessed shout out ‘ngayah’ (‘I am going to serve!’) before they lose consciousness. This consequent dissociation from individual psychology, personal will and consciousness represents a distinguishing feature of Balinese ideas and practices concerning possession. This conception neither includes a discourse of psychological illness and therapy nor the need for spiritual mastery or religious authority because, in contrast to shamanism, possession in Bali is controlled and interpreted by the community.

Possession as transfiguration and ritual creativity While Balinese ideas of possession do not imply the idea of an altered state of mind or consciousness, they are essentially a performative transfiguration of the human body that represents the supernatural power of divine beings by displaying amazing and new capacities. The persons possessed may utter different voices and speak in different styles of speech corresponding to the divine ancestors they embody. They may reveal hidden secrets or prophesy, without being aware of the words they have

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uttered. In addition, they can jump amazingly high, climb up tall walls or trees at incredible speed, balance upright while dancing upon the shoulders of men or run in frenzy to the graveyard to conquer witches and other malevolent but usually invisible beings. Thus, from a Balinese perspective the persons possessed, or rather, the divinities who have entered them, communicate secret wisdom and share spiritual power with the community by means of stunning transfigurations of the material kulit or human body: they may press bundles of glowing incense against their bare arms and breast or eat glowing coals and dance barefoot upon them – all without being hurt or burned. This latter custom corresponds to the idea of fire as a purifying ritual element, which is seen as a bath (mandi) for the ethereal body of gods. The willingness – and the ability – to touch fire and glowing coal without being hurt or burned are therefore both a proof for possession and a test by which a ritual community may decide whether a person is really possessed or not. This creative interaction between the community and the possessed individual is particularly evident in ritual dance and theatrical performances such as Calonarang, where possession starts once the dramatic representation of the written plot is interrupted by the appearance of the powerful mythical mask-costume of Rangda. According to Suastika (1997), Calonarang was originally created as a text written for meditation in the court of Gelgel. From this text several versions in an increasingly Balinese style and language code have derived in the course of centuries, thereby mirroring a constant process of Balinization (pem-Bali-an). Yet, in spite of its written origin, Calonarang is still performed as a ritual drama that purifies a village community from the destructive influences of witchcraft. Moreover, the mythical divinities Rangda and Barong, which appear as the core characters of each Calonarang performance, are not part of the written text but appear only during its theatrical representation. The drama may culminate in collective states of possession, where both performers and audience are being entered by the destructive witch-goddess Rangda or by the benevolent Barong. If the gods wish to represent themselves (masolah) during a temple ceremony, the community will organize a ritual performance of the drama, in the course of which dancers as well as members of the audience may be entered by these powerful divinities and act out their mythical fight in one of the most violent forms of possession known in Bali. At the dramatic climax the theatre play stops completely, and the witch Calonarang appears in her true, i.e. niskala form as the horrifying and destructive goddess Rangda. At this moment, large portions of the audience become possessed either by Rangda or by her opponent Barong, and enter the stage to act accordingly. Those who are possessed by Barong are stabbing Rangda and themselves with their keris but remain – ideally, though not always – unhurt, because the respective powers of Rangda and Barong are counterbalanced. Others eat glowing coals, press bundles of glowing incense to their breasts or devour live chicks. In addition, those being possessed by Rangda call the names of people suspected to be witches, soliciting them to join this ritual contest of spiritual powers, which ideally should end up in a

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condition where both Rangda and Barong, the cosmic forces of destruction and life, are dynamically counterbalanced within the performance of ritual possession (De Zoete and Spies [1938] 2002: 116–33). This dramatic ritual has been described as ‘exorcistic’, yet in Balinese interpretation it does not aim at an exorcism of demonic forces but rather at the restoration of balance between destructive and constructive forces, which may be both horrific and divine (Emigh 1984). Since the concept of balance has become an emblematic description of Balinese culture, it is noteworthy that although ritual Calonarang performances aim at balance, they are always dangerous because, in contrast to merely theatrical representations of written texts as well as to the touristic ‘kris-dance’ that mimetically fakes possession behaviour, the balance they are dealing with is dynamic and thus may fail. Touristic ‘kris-dance’ performances thus display a controlled choreography that only symbolically represents balance, yet in the ritual performances of Calonarang the outcome is not predictable precisely because possession transcends the controlled structures of social behaviour. The balance of forces may be disturbed due to threatening spiritual influences or impurities, and unforeseen accidents in the course of a performance require thorough interpretation and creative solutions by the entire ritual community. I witnessed a ritual Calonarang in a village close to Ubud, where for years no possession had taken place. The performance was given shortly after the Islamist bombing of Kuta in 2002 and thus in a tense atmosphere, where both Balinese identity and economy were threatened. In the given case, the villagers had identified the destructive witch Calonarang – which supposedly was a Javanese princess – with present Javanese Islamists. In the course of this performance, the actor of Calonarang in her demonic form as Rangda became possessed, which was obviously not expected. When he arrived on stage he shouted out hoarsely and rushed, hardly controllable and with a keris in his hand, from the stage and through a group of spectators, where he wounded one of the security officials (pecalang) who stood in his way. In order to bring the riotous situation under control the entire performance was stopped immediately, and five strong men were required to keep hold of the screaming and resisting Rangda, and to forcefully carry the possessed performer back to the temple and in front of Rangda’s shrine. There, in the inner part of the temple, a priest removed the mask to purify with holy water the performer, who – still in violent possession and still being held by helpers – continued shouting, stammering and howling. This performance had been interrupted and obviously did not end in a balanced situation, but it nevertheless served the community’s communication with niskala because hundreds of people from the audience tried to follow the possessed performer into the temple, where they stood as near to him as possible in order to listen to a discourse between the god and two priests. These priests (pemangku) took care of the temple and its Rangda, and they tried to find out in a respectful as well as intense dialogue where the community had failed and what was missing to satisfy the god. Though this ritual

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drama did not arrive at a harmonious solution, it brought about a typical dialogue between the community and the possessing god, which in many cases has a reflexive as well as a practical and innovative character, and may end with instructions for new rituals or new shrines and effigies for forgotten gods, as well as with advice for the community’s future behaviour. Thus, not only by formal harmony but even by the failures of its performative restoration, ritual possession reveals an essential aspect of its sociocultural meaning: since it makes the course of rituals unpredictable, possession opens the fixed liturgical order of static orthopraxy for creative innovation via pluralistic interpretation and reflexivity. Most important, the agent of this creative process is not the person possessed as a new authority with secret insight or unconscious visions, but the ritual community alone that is challenged to control, to organize and to creatively interpret the transfigurative performance of possession. I am suggesting therefore that Balinese ritual possession triggers the public reflexivity of sacred traditions, thus enabling a creative mediation between ritual order, social structure and an ever shifting present situation. Due to this creativity, ritual possession corresponds to the willingness to innovate liturgical order and social behaviour, and as ngayah it indicates that this adaptation to contemporary life and society is accomplished within a public sphere. Performative creativity and reflexivity of ritual possession are endangered today, because only a few theatre groups are left whose members dare to perform in ritual settings, which include possession and thus may lead to uncontrollable situations. Since Balinese dance and drama have become almost entirely standardized as an effect of formal training at the Indonesian Academy of Art (ISI), today most actors and dancers see themselves as artists rather than as participants of a transformative ritual process. While they may still dance at rituals of their respective temple communities, their priorities obviously have changed: only two generations ago dancers were trained for ritual performances in the first place, yet today ritual performances are viewed as but one opportunity to apply a theatre technique, which is perceived, above all, as ‘art’ and sold to a global audience on a global market. This does not mean that a sense for ritual settings has disappeared altogether but it indicates that dance training, and thus the habitus of the dancers, have changed remarkably: today, they understand their dance above all as a personal skill, and this artistic reinterpretation implies, as I suggest with reference to Foucault, that dancers trained at the Balinese academy undergo a process of ‘normalization’ within which they are trained to perform a fixed set of movements and techniques, but lose the ability to surrender within ritual transfiguration. This modern kinaesthetic standardization of dance corresponds to a habitualized self-control, both being side effects of modern disciplinary strategies as described by Foucault (1975). I argue that this tacit transformation of the entire habitus, even more than the conscious marketing of single performances, creates contradictions for ritual Calonarang performances.13

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The priest of a village where ritual Calonarang including possession is still common told me about his difficulties in finding a theatre group whose members would still dare to expose themselves to the dangers and uncertainties of possession. He was afraid that, one day, the holy Barong and Rangda masks of his temple would no longer be able to represent themselves (masolah), because the village had no theatre group of its own and thus depended upon trained actors from the capital whose members would never go into trance. I was able to witness indeed that the professional actors of a Calonarang theatre group were confused and afraid when during their performance members of the local audience went into trance-possession and took the holy masks of Rangda and Barong out of their temple: a dozen villagers jumped on the stage in possession and displayed the extraordinary powers of their gods, calling the witches of the region, eating pieces of coal and chickens, and stabbing their breasts with daggers. From this moment on, the professional actors did not know what to do and where to go. They had prepared the appearance of their profane Rangda as part of their rehearsed performance. However, when the horribly screaming Rangda from the temple arrived and, fully possessed, bumped into the profane Rangda of the theatre group, the actor lifted the mask of his profane Rangda and withdrew in panic from the stage. The rehearsed drama came to a sudden stop, while the possessed villagers had entered the scene acting out their ritual possession for more than an hour. It is clear from this example that professional drama and sacred ritual, or symbolic representation and transfiguration, can only be mediated and connected to a certain degree. The klian of the village hamlet who was responsible for the organization of the ritual performance remembered that, a few years ago, a former director of the academy in Denpasar, himself a famous dancer, had visited the village temple asking whether he might wear the extremely powerful local Rangda mask in order to be possessed during his performance, yet, in his case Rangda’s sakti showed no effect. He did not become possessed because, according to the klian, he lacked the selfless attitude of ngayah, i.e. the prerequisite for being entered by a divinity. Evidently, possession is neither the outcome of intentional action nor of personal skill, and thus cannot be achieved by the dancer himself, but is linked to the selfless habitus of ngayah – of surrender serving the need of gods and community. This habitualized ability of selflessness is obviously incompatible both with modern claims for subjective identity being the outcome of a disciplinary society and with the modern ego-centred training of dance, which corresponds to ideas of individual art and technical mastery. This latter interpretation of dance leaves no space for transgressive communication with niskala by means of the human body, which is the target of ritual as selfless service (ngayah).14 If the decline of Balinese possession is most obvious regarding ritual drama and dance, this indicates in my interpretation that these theatrical forms most directly mirror the thorough process of re-framing and re-constructing the human body and personality. In contrast to this, Balinese ritual possession

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offers a performative space for unpredictable and situational innovations of the liturgical order, the narrative course of drama, and the formal perfection of Balinese dance.

Balinese possession in the context of socio-religious stratification, religious politics and various concepts of divinity In view of this creative dimension of possession, it is important to note that not all Balinese gods are prone to enter humans and to influence ritual and society. While the Balinese themselves do not always carefully identify their gods, it is significant that those divinities who are supposed to enter humans are divine ancestors, local gods, and demonic or ambivalent gods, such as Rangda and Barong or the gods of sanghyang possession. The latter type of possession has been described as most archaic, because it relates possession to nature worship, i.e. to local traditions of immanent spirituality. In sanghyang possession, divine spirits of natural phenomena are supposed to enter the human body, displaying extraordinary powers of purification.15 In contrast to this, the highest gods of the Hindu pantheon – Siwa, Wisnu and Brahma – are not supposed to enter humans or to communicate directly with the community, which means that they do not creatively influence the liturgical order and social structure. This clear opposition between local deities and Hindu gods was evident from my recent investigations, whereas older sources from the 1930s suggest that it might have been reinforced by Indonesia’s religious policy, which imposes a reinterpretation of local religious traditions according to the principles of monotheism, scripturalism and universal doctrines, that match the national majority religion of Islam. Following official Indonesian guidelines, an increasingly purified, that is, ‘Sanskritisized’ form of Hinduism as ‘Vedic’ orthodoxy is being created in Bali, while, on the other hand, local forms of ancestor and nature worship are being marginalized as a mere pagan custom (adat) without religious significance. Thus, local deities are downplayed within the current reconstruction of a more Indianized form of Indonesian Hinduism. In light of this national religious policy, the selective relationship between Balinese gods and possession is remarkable, not merely because Bali’s religion has been identified as Hinduism in its prevailing form of Shaivism for decades, but moreover because the different theological concepts of divinity are closely linked to the shifting socio-religious hierarchies on the island. This dissociation of possession and Hindu theology is by no means a theological issue alone. It corresponds to Bali’s socio-religious stratification, and particularly to the authority of the Brahmana initiated priest or pedanda, who has functioned as the highest official representative of Balinese Hinduism and society since the Majapahit aristocracy conquered the island and established its ‘caste’ (wangsa) system in the fourteenth century. In light of this significant shift of social hierarchies, we should consider possession in relation to the authority, superiority and agency of the pedanda

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and divine kings. When the island came under the cultural and political control of Majapahit, the king and the pedanda were the only human beings supposed to be incarnations of a god and in this case even of the highest god Siwa. Until today, Siwa is systematically embodied by the pedanda, due to the latter’s descent from the highest Brahmana wangsa. The pedanda thus has the ability to prepare the holiest water and to perform powerful mantra and mudra, due to his exclusive control over spiritual techniques that are supposed to transform him into the Hindu high god Siwa. The only exception to this restriction is ritual possession, where any person may embody a god, though involuntarily and only temporarily. In marked contrast to the pedanda’s representation of Siwa, possession is by no means restricted to a special group of people or to powerful knowledge, but is open to everybody: not only respected persons or religious experts from the village, but children, foreigners, and even representatives from other religions and ethnic groups may be possessed during rituals by local gods, because virtually anybody may act as a medium for the creative communication between a community and their gods. The categorical difference between the highly restricted representation of Siwa, on the one hand, and the spontaneous as well as pluralistic embodiment of local deities by means of possession, on the other, reveals a deep gap within traditional ritual practice, which corresponds both to the hierarchies of Balinese society and to their respective theological conceptions: the persons possessed, who in most cases are commoners, reveal the demands and display the power of local divinities and ancestors, thereby becoming a catalyst of creative public innovation. However, the embodiment of the highest Hindu god Siwa is restricted to the highest stratum of Balinese society, i.e. to the few members of the Brahmana wangsa who are in charge of secret texts and powerful techniques such as mantra and mudra. This corresponds to significant differences concerning types of spiritual knowledge and tradition: while divine ancestors and the spirits of holy places, plants and animals reveal their demands to virtually everybody by means of possession, the access to holy scriptures that deal with speculations, techniques of redemption and revelation as well as with magical practices is a prerogative of the aristocracy and a precondition of Brahmana ritual. It would certainly be misleading to construct two completely separate religious traditions in Bali, yet it is evident that ritual possession has close ties to local spirituality, ancestor and nature worship, and thus can be interpreted both as a pluralistic counterweight to and subversive modification of the absolute religious authority and superiority displayed by Brahmana priests. Although their state rituals for the nobility have been accepted as the paragon of Balinese ritual order, and though their doctrines include representative teachings, their paradigmatic theology and doctrine did not completely replace or suppress local ritual practice and interpretation. While no official counter-narrative has been defended against Brahmana teachings, we may suppose that ritual possession has functioned as a counterbalance within the

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socio-religious hierarchy, because it offers a pluralistic as well as flexible means to respond to the wishes of local gods and thus to adapt the aristocratic paragon of Hindu theology to local traditions. If this interpretation has any validity, why then should ritual possession decline? I suggest that the role of ritual possession has changed mostly because of two reasons. On the one hand, the absolute authority of aristocratic hierarchies, and at the top of it of the Brahmana priests, has become an issue of public debate and conflict since the 1920s, when after the colonial defeat of the Hindu kingdoms in Bali a group of intellectual commoners advocated a different status system based on individual merit instead of descent and ‘caste’ (kasta). On the other hand, this challenge to traditional hierarchies and customs (adat) has been supported since independence by a national policy that imposes religion as universalist doctrine (agama). However, decades before independence Balinese commoners started to publish their criticism of the ‘caste’ system along with ideas of an egalitarian Hinduism in the journal Surya Kanta, while representatives of the aristocracy defended traditional hierarchies referring to the particular Balinese adat (Picard 1999b). In the course of this ongoing conflict the role of pedanda became a highly contested matter, and even more so since Indonesia’s religious policy advocates the transformation of local traditions (adat) into a universalist religious doctrine (agama) that can be taught and learned by everybody. As a consequence of this modernist policy, reformist Balinese, most of them commoners, presently claim that the authority of a consecrated priest or pandita should only be based upon education and not on descent, all the more because wangsa hierarchies are not an original Balinese tradition but have been imposed by the invaders of Majapahit and thus could be seen as the result of Javanese influence. These Balinese reformers defend a pluralistic access to the position of a pandita based upon the equality of all Indonesian Hindus and regulated by education (sarwa sadaka), while the traditionalists refer to local adat and defend the wangsa hierarchies, including the restricted access of Brahmana to the position of a consecrated priest (tri sadaka) (Pitana 1999). This power struggle implies not merely the opposition of political interest groups but moreover opposing concepts of religion and cultural identity that have led to a schism within the Indonesian Council of Hinduism (PHDI) and to polarization within Balinese politics.16 Whereas the reformist Parisada Besakih criticizes the Parisada Campuan for its feudalism, the traditionalists accuse the reformists of promoting an ‘Indianization’ of Balinese culture (Schulte Nordholt 2007: 25). Since reformist Hinduism is supported by national interests, it involves a religious policy according to which only those traditions deserve the name of an acknowledged religion (agama) which are based upon a holy book and the confession of monotheism, thus representing a universal doctrine. In order to legitimate Bali’s adat as a religion, the PHDI decades ago declared that the Holy Book of all Indonesian Hindus was to be found in the classical texts of

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Indian Hinduism, especially in the Bhagavad Gita and the Veda, which were formerly unknown in Bali. This declaration was remarkable, all the more so because holy scriptures with theological and philosophical teachings were an essential part of local Balinese tradition as well. However, access to these teachings (tutur), written on palm-leaf manuscripts (lontar), was controlled and restricted by Brahmana, who had the prerogative to learn these secret and magically powerful texts and to teach them to their pupils.17 Thus, the Balinese concept of holy scripture opposed the idea of a religion of the Book that is based upon free access to a holy text, which does not serve as a means for magical power but rather represents a universally valid religious doctrine that contains and legitimates the claim for absolute religious truth (Assmann 2001; Hornbacher 2007). The decision to ignore local texts in favour of the Indian Veda was thus guided by a modernist and rationalist idea of religion as doctrine, whose national exemplar is of course Islam, the majority religion. As a consequence, not merely local forms of nature and ancestor worship but furthermore the scriptural and philosophical traditions of Bali have been marginalized under the reformist influence advocating a theoretical and doctrinal Hinduism, which is both universalist and closer to Islam. In this respect, the national policy of doctrinal religion suits the interests of the reformist wing among those Balinese commoners who want to reorganize the access to, as well as the distribution of, religious authority according to their own education. In this ongoing process, both the secret scriptures of Balinese origin and ritual possession are being marginalized within the official discourse of Balinese religion that aims at the normalization of Indonesian Hinduism. This implies in the first place that a heterogeneous set of ritual practices and traditions, which were open to flexible reinterpretation and thus hardly controllable, had to be translated into a systematic doctrine, whose truth claims are increasingly separated from local traditions and situational innovation in order to be universally applicable. Given this political guideline, secret Brahmana scriptures were as dispensable if not as disturbing as possession. It is therefore revealing that neither Balinese lontar with philosophical and theological teachings nor possession as an essential element of spiritual communication and theology are mentioned within the countless manuals that are edited by the PHDI aiming at the elucidation of Balinese Hinduism in terms of a world religion. Whereas Balinese lontar are associated with traditional hierarchies, possession opposes the construction of a religious orthodoxy, and because both contradict the ideal of a consistent religious doctrine (agama) as well as the necessities of a modern disciplinary society, they have to be marginalized or restricted to privacy.

The decline of possession and the power of definition The present decline of ritual possession takes place within this contested field of socio-religious hierarchies and competing concepts concerning ideas of

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gods, humans and the relationship of niskala and sekala, and should be understood accordingly. I have suggested that this decline is not the direct outcome of an increasing process of rationalization, but rather the effect of changing hierarchies within Balinese society, whose agents make use of globally powerful epistemic fields. Since these conceptual frames have national and global scope, the power related to them is accordingly to be considered within the all-encompassing process of modernization and globalization. It is most revealing in this respect that in Bali possession has neither disappeared altogether nor predominantly in urban centres of modernization. The current decline of possession pertains particularly to public ritual performances, while the private consultation of mediumistic healers is still common, even in villages where possession has completely disappeared from the public sphere of religious practice for years. This shift in the field of ritual possession, in my opinion, shows that the Balinese do not reject possession as an irrational belief altogether, but only as a means of public communication concerning religious matters. This is most obvious in temple rituals, which traditionally have been the public field where opposing theological interpretations and innovations had being negotiated and displayed, particularly when commoners and Brahmana priests were cooperating. I suggest therefore that the decline of possession in the course of temple rituals by no means implies that the villagers reject possession, rather it mirrors the degree to which official representatives have adopted a normalized form of Hindu religion (agama), that is negotiated in secular settings among intellectuals and politicians, who for the first time prescribe the guidelines for temple rituals that have to be applied by local practitioners. This indicates that local practitioners have lost a great deal of their former agency within the creative process of ritual performance, whose most innovative aspect was possession. The decline of public possession rituals can thus be seen as the outcome of a consequent expropriation on the side of ritual practitioners. On the other hand, the doctrinal reconstruction of Balinese religion as agama does not influence mediumistic healers in private settings, because in this case possession is dissociated from the power struggle concerning the public definition of ‘religion’ (agama). It seems therefore that the decline of possession in temple ceremonies is a side-effect of new hierarchies within a powerful discourse upon the meaning and political role of religion. A closer look at this decline proves that possession does not simply disappear as a side effect of increasing rationalization, but is forcefully suppressed and marginalized in special settings by new authorities. In a village where possession had disappeared years ago, a group of commoners was predominant within the organization board of an old and important temple ritual because of their expert knowledge concerning Hindu theology: most of them were educated academics, ranging from religious school teachers to university lecturers, and supporting reformist ideas as well

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as an Indianized and universalist form of Hinduism. Many of them challenged the exclusive authority of pedanda and insisted upon the superiority of formal religious education at schools and universities, where they themselves have studied. Beyond that, some have visited India personally – not only as the motherland of Hinduism but rather as the origin of all world religions, as they proudly explained to me. Those who have not been able to visit India so far have ties to or at least sympathies for Indian devotional movements, such as Sai Baba or Hare Krishna, that have spread all over Bali since the downfall of Suharto’s regime. Some of them even have personal gurus from India or practise Indian rituals in small groups at the capital, thus creating an esoteric intellectualist realization of their personal ideas of Hinduism, whose exoteric side in their view is represented in Balinese temple ceremonies. Since these intellectuals were highly respected as experts of Balinese ritual as well as of Indian Hinduism, only some villagers criticized their parallel activities in Neo-Hindu circles. Otherwise they were consulted even by local specialists on offerings, who felt that their local interpretations were insufficient, and who eagerly tried to learn about the symbolic Indian meaning that is hidden – in the reformist’s opinion – in Balinese offerings.18 This reinterpretation of local ritual practice in line with basic ideas of the PHDI responds to the interest of new religious authorities, who discern the ‘deeper’ meaning of a universalist Hinduism, which they restrict to the teachings of the Veda and the Bhagavad Gita, from the merely ‘local spirit’ (spirit lokal) of Balinese custom or adat, that is marginalized as a symbolic clothing of Hindu doctrines. Consequently, local rituals are reinterpreted in terms of a pan-Hindu doctrine which implies that local gods are increasingly identified with gods of the Hindu pantheon. Moreover, local rituals as well as offerings and effigies are seen as mere symbols (simbol) of a universalist Hindu doctrine. By means of this reinterpretation of local traditions, the public preparations of ritual effigies become a form of indoctrination, which includes both the dubious construction of a systematic, homogeneous and universalist Hinduism, which does not exist in India, and the denial of essential differences between Balinese and Indian traditions of spirituality. In addition to this, the reformist ritual committee marginalizes not merely local interpretations of offerings but possession as well. They explicitly declared that possession in their temple was no longer needed because the ritual was being performed according to the guidelines of Hinduism and thus properly. These new authorities reduced the communicative and creative dimensions of possession to a sign of personal shortcomings, thus ignoring that in many cases rituals were supposed to be incomplete unless the invited gods had evinced their pleasure for the invitation. However, I accidentally witnessed that, in spite of this conviction, possession still occurred within the ritual process, though it was ignored and was reinterpreted as a psychological and thus merely individual problem devoid of public or religious interest: in the course of an extended temple ceremony and

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during a common prayer a man became possessed in front of the main shrine. Like many other worshippers he was not a village member, because the important ritual had attracted thousands of people from distant places all over Bali. I sat beside a Balinese friend from a village where possession is still common, and she recognized the incident and told me that the man – who started to dance in front of the shrines – was possessed, or literally, that the god had ‘arrived’ (kerauhan). Other worshippers obviously had come to the same conclusion, because they stopped praying and looked for a priest or a ritual specialist, who was expected to welcome the god formally and to ask whether he wanted to deliver a message in a ritual interview or just join the ritual and receive homage. Additionally, the priest was supposed to sprinkle the possessed with holy water, thereby ritually concluding the state of possession, because after receiving holy water the god leaves the human body and the individual soul returns. However, to the confusion of everybody, one of the reformist officials together with a temple priest just took a brief look at the possessed but suddenly disappeared and left him – and the rest of the community – alone and without any ritual assistance. The ceremony, which would normally have stopped in favour of a mutual communication and exchange between the arriving god and the community, continued as if nothing had happened. The possessed man was left isolated by the priests and the ritual community in growing agitation, until his puzzled family members managed to carry him away. Most interestingly, those Balinese who had interpreted the incident as kerauhan were not only confused, due to the lack of official recognition and ritual shaping, but they even felt embarrassed once they learned that the ritual committee had decided that the man possessed was only psychologically deviant. Since the committee members were well-educated academics and respected persons, nobody thought of challenging them, and even those who were convinced they had seen possession in the first place followed the reformers’ interpretation and refused any further discussion of the case. When I asked one of the officials the reason for their interpretation in terms of psychological illness, he briefly explained that ‘true’ possession would never occur during prayers or in front of the main shrine – an explanation which was not convincing to other Balinese, who reported several cases of ritual possession in temples of other villages, where even priests were possessed during the common prayer right in front of the shrines. It seems obvious therefore that these reformist officials, by means of a questionable criterion and a modernist interpretation, tried to dissociate possession from the ritual process in order to reinterpret it according to the official teachings of the PHDI and thus to religion as theoretical doctrine.

Conclusion This case is revealing in several respects. To begin with, it is manifest that the psychological reinterpretation of possession is comparable to the situation in

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late nineteenth-century Europe, where psychological discourse as a core feature of modern ideology and disciplinary strategies led to a rapid decline of possession. Reports from that time illustrate how French villagers, led by the local priest, defended their theological diagnosis of possession while psychiatrists from Paris tried to impose their psychological interpretation upon them (Midelfort 2005). In the Balinese example, quite similarly a small elite of educated reformers replaced local discourse and ritual practice of possession by psychological interpretation. However, in contrast to Europe, the Balinese reinterpretation does not merely replace one therapy (exorcism) for a threatening phenomenon by another (psychotherapy), but implies a completely different assessment once possession is no longer interpreted as a ritual service (ngayah) and creative stimulus on behalf of the community, but is separated from ritual interaction as a merely individual problem. In this case, psychological interpretation not merely represents the gap between religious and secular worldviews, but rather reflects a change within religious authority and power relations that corresponds to a new frame of interpretation for the entire reality, including humans and gods. Within hierarchical Balinese society, possession was linked to ambivalent and flexible ideas of divinity displaying a means both for the creative innovation of liturgical structure and for the subversion of socio-religious authority. Possession thus provided an aspect of performative reflexivity within Balinese ritual, albeit at the cost of systematic doctrinal coherence. As a consequence, ritual possession in Bali not merely subverts traditional Brahmana hierarchies but today contradicts the reformist ideal of a religion of the Book as well, which is based upon a fixed canonical truth and a rational doctrine. Possession thus creates paradoxical effects vis-à-vis reformist ideas in present-day Bali, from which we may conclude different reasons for its decline. In the first place, it may indicate that reformist Hinduism is based upon democratic and common participation in religious matters so that tacit subversions are no longer necessary. However, this optimistic conclusion seems questionable for several reasons. First of all, the reformist idea of a rational and homogeneous Hindu religion (agama) is culturally backed by modern techniques of formal learning, such as reading and writing, that provide a general precondition for this theoretical type of religion, and is dissociated from spiritually powerful lontar as well as from local ritual practice. Religious authority is thereby based upon a system of education and self-control, which Foucault describes as the central disciplinary mechanism of modern society, bringing about the autonomous self as an effect, not of freedom, but rather of submission to political control and economic exploitation. This dialectical disciplinary process is by no means free from hierarchical authority, but it creates new socio-religious hierarchies that emerge from formal education, which offers a chance for religious authority and social influence to a new group of intellectual commoners, while it marginalizes the authority of ritual practitioners.

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The present decline of possession in favour of an increasingly dogmatic Hinduism can thus be interpreted as an effect of both the implementation of modern subjectivity by means of disciplinary techniques of self-control and the normalization of religion as a systematic doctrine. This reformist process is mainly promoted by commoners who claim more religious pluralism and participation, yet it seems questionable to what degree this target is susceptible to being achieved. Regarding the systematic marginalization of ritual possession as an interactive means of bottom-up innovation and criticism, it appears that Balinese ritual today displays less rather than more space for pluralistic participation and innovation. This is all the more problematic because a counterweight to the new intellectualistic conception of religion is lacking, which in consequence means that Balinese ritual practice today merely tends to be the ossified representation of a religious doctrine, which is being imposed once again by a minority. As a consequence, ritual in general is presently reinterpreted as nothing more than a symbolic shaping of transcendent theological doctrines, whose adequate interpretation is restricted to the new minority of educated intellectuals and specialists of Indian texts. The above-mentioned example shows that local specialists for offerings and ritual dances as well as ritual practitioners have lost much of their agency in favour of a new academic elite and their expert knowledge of Indian Hinduism.19 Reformist Hinduism thus marginalizes both local knowledge and possession, because both threaten the authority of new intellectual elites and their universalist theories by presenting a performative as well as interactive representation of religious knowledge. The decline of ritual possession in this view does not result in an increasingly participatory or pluralistic form of religion but rather in a new religious hierarchy, which is now established and controlled by formally educated commoners. We can conclude therefore that the disappearance of possession from official rituals is a thoroughly ambivalent process, that reveals the struggle for a new socio-religious authority, which is even more pervasive than the traditional wangsa system because it is supported both by Indonesian religious politics and by global standards of knowledge and rationality, thereby reducing the transformative and creative presence of gods in the ritual performance to a sign of either backwardness or madness.

Notes 1 While most texts on possession describe the phenomenon as if it were a timeless feature of Balinese culture (Bateson and Mead 1942; Belo 1960; Suryani and Jensen 1993), only a book recently published by Balinese authors mentions the decline of ritual possession, albeit without any attempt to interpret this very fact (Sudyatmaka Sugriwa 2000). 2 Barong are shaped as theriomorphic or anthropomorphic mask costums which are revered as divinities with magical power (sakti). Newly carved as well as renovated Barong need a consecration ceremony (pasupati), in which the powerful spirit is invited to take place inside the mask. The success of the pasupati is ritually proved

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by the fact that its spirit possesses the man who wears the mask during the ensuing ritual performances. He used the loanword ‘sakral’ in order to assure me that something really special and extraordinary would happen during the ceremony. It seems that this identification has shifted already as an effect of the reconstruction of Balinese religion according to a religious policy of the Indonesian state that is informed by a purified monotheism: according to Belo’s informants, it was normal during the 1930s for the gods to be accompanied by demons and that both divinities tended to possess humans (Belo 1960: 1). I found that in the current discourse on possession the possibility of demons entering humans is rather marginalized, probably according to new definitions of purity. Emigh (1984) has convincingly linked this worship of potentially destructive divinities to Tantric Shaivism that became popular in many parts of Southeast Asia and particularly in Java and Bali. This ambivalence is linked to the Balinese notion of tenget, i.e. magically powerful and dangerous, in contrast to suci, the presently dominating term for holy, which literally means ‘pure’ and thus guarantees a form of divinity which by definition does not harm. While until today many places and trees as well as Barong and Rangda masks – in performative action – are said to be tenget and thus are potentially dangerous, the same masks as objects of homage in temples and generally the gods within a temple are said to be suci, purely benevolent. The same pertains to the demonic god Ratu Gede Mas Mecaling, who is worshipped at his temple (Pura Peed) in Nusa Penida as a divine being that is suci, while he is supposed to be tenget when bringing pest and epidemics to Bali during the rainy season. Interestingly, in this case, the word for god was Tuhan, i.e. the modern Indonesian name for the God of monotheism, which implies a claim for universal validity. This careful handling of possession rituals does not apply, of course, to all Balinese: it is common now to broadcast possession rituals on Balinese TV, which implies that Balinese film crews visit temples in order to record their rituals. At the village level, however, many people are still convinced that possession simply cannot and must not be recorded, because the gods do not want to be objectified. I was told many stories about failing recordings, magically broken cameras and camcorders, as well as about Westerners who became seriously ill after having photographed possession rituals. When my camera in fact was blocked during several possession rituals, my Balinese interlocutors assured me that I was lucky because this had only happened as a sign of my personal protection. Belo (1960) does not even differentiate between trance and possession, but uses the word ‘trance’ in order to describe possession. These balian taksu may be consulted if a family seeks contact with their ancestors for various reasons: there may be cases of strange disease, the wish to know if the cremation ceremony for a deceased was successful, or the wish to find out which ancestor has been reincarnated in a newborn child. Connor described this Balinese concept as the ‘unbounded self ’, while Suryani stated that in Balinese thought the individual soul is not composed of parts, but rather is influenced according to different cosmic forces (Connor 1984; Suryani and Jensen 1993: 218; see also Hobart 2003). Nevertheless, both agree that the Balinese concept of personality is non-unitary. This notion of course hints at the performative presence of gods in another Balinese ritual setting: wayang kulit, the shadow play of leather (kulit) puppets. These ‘skins’ serve as a transient appearance of gods and are supposed to have originated from an ancient ancestor cult where they represented the dewa hyang, the souls of the revered ancestor gods, by means of the flickering shadows on the screen. Like the puppets in wayang kulit, the human kulit during possession performatively mirrors invisible agents within visible form.

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13 Regarding the concept of habitus as a tacit form of common knowledge, see Bourdieu (1979). 14 This complex topic of Balinese aesthetics certainly needs more elucidation, but in the given context a hint has to suffice: according to Balinese ideas, a dance is not perfect unless it has ‘taksu’, which is the name for the mediating spirit that inspires healers, priests and possession mediums (balian taksu). Thus, the most important aspect of dance is beyond the technical skills of the dancer, because it is only due to the taksu that a dancer can mediate niskala and sekala, which is the target of ritual dance in general. Similarly, possession can be seen as the temporary transgression of personal skill and thus as a radical form of spiritual communication at the cost of technical self-control (Hornbacher 2005: 220ff.). 15 This applies to possession by the spirit of horses (sanghyang jaran), which is still common in a few villages, as well as to the possession by heavenly nymphs (sanghyang dedari), whose movements are associated with beautiful trees full of blossoms swaying in the wind and thus with tree worship (Bandem and de Boer 1995: 12). 16 See Picard, Chapter 5 in this volume. 17 On tutur, see Acri, Chapter 6 in this volume. 18 Important sources for this new knowledge about Indian philosophy and theology are books such as Titib (2001). 19 Since some of the older ritual specialists are illiterate, they even hesitated to explain the meaning of local ritual traditions and recommended instead I ask the experts who knew better, due to their education.

8

Spiritualized politics and the trademark of culture Political actors and their use of adat and agama in post-Suharto Bali Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin

The public performance of adat in Bali, in particular the prolific temple ceremonies with piled-up offerings and beautifully clad men and women, was a flagship of tourism promotion during the whole era of the New Order (Vickers 1989; Picard 1996). It was after all ‘culture’ that served as the brand that distinguished Bali as a tourist resort from other destinations in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. The New Order regime saw adat as a living but ‘tamed’ expression of the cultural characteristics of the hundreds of Indonesia’s ethnic groups that needed to be cultivated as a special feature of the post-colonial independent state. Adat in the form of dances, costumes and customs was to be shown in a national TV series and represented in miniature in the Taman Mini in Jakarta, or literally sold in the form of souvenirs and standardized performances to visitors (Avonius 2003). These representations were to serve as a living illustration of the national slogan of ‘cultural diversity’ as a part of ‘national unity’. The distinction between adat (‘tradition’), agama (‘religion’) and budaya (‘culture’, the latter term was seldom used in village-based discourses until the early 2000s) in Bali has always depended on the actors and the temporal contexts involved. During the New Order, temple ceremonies were often called upacara adat, while today they are labelled upacara agama by the Hindu Balinese. This change appears to be the result of a tiny minority’s efforts to establish their ritual practices as religion in a country dominated by Islam. By emphasizing the universal validity of their religion and the transnational ties that linked their ritual practices to Hinduism in India, domains formerly classified as adat become increasingly shaped in terms of agama. But apart from these internal developments, which will be dealt with in more detail in this chapter, it is important to note that the perspective of the representatives of the state with regard to cultural expressions and their categorization into adat, budaya and agama differed from that of the Balinese, at any rate during the New Order. In fact, the drawing of boundaries between the categories of agama, adat and budaya seems always to have been fluid since it is part of processes of negotiating identities or even ethnicities (Barth 1969). After decades of an authoritarian centralized regime which primarily relied on dinas, the administrative structure of the Indonesian state, adat, seen as a

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broad range of customs, ritual practices and village law, turned out to be much more than mere folklore. The move to decentralization that took place after the fall of the New Order regime in 1998 aimed at promoting democratization and development within the state and its provinces (Schulte Nordholt 2003). It provided the provinces and with them the regencies and the villages with an agency within the national state of a kind they had never seen before. One of the first actions launched by the provinces outside the central island of Java was the replacement of high ranking civil servants of Javanese – and other, non-local – origin by local ones. In Bali, this led to a closer relationship between the major local actors, the administration and the culturally dominant population of Hindu faith, since they now all shared the same cultural background, religion included. The division of social life into the categories of adat and dinas that the Dutch introduced about a century ago and which the Indonesian state retained (and even elaborated) received a new meaning. The multidimensionality of adat in Indonesia in general, and the way it can serve different ends, have become apparent since. As Davidson and Henley point out, adat has many meanings. They describe it as ‘a specific body of locally inherited tradition, partly a pan-Indonesian discourse linking history, land and law, and partly a political ideology, more nebulous but likewise of nationwide appeal, which identifies adat with authenticity, community, order, and justice’ (2007: 19). Adat became a means of self-assurance, self-determination and identity construction – even resulting in the creation of ethnic boundaries vis-à-vis those who did not share the same culture, with the usual consequences that such exclusion has. In this chapter I would like to show how the amalgamation of ‘tradition’ (adat), ‘religion’ (agama) and ‘politics’ (dinas) has led in Bali to what Willford and George (2005) have called ‘spirited politics’. This kind of ‘spirited politics’, I argue, is not a new phenomenon but an old pre-colonial pattern (Day 2002). However, the way in which ‘tradition’, ‘religion’ and ‘politics’ are combined with each other today and enacted in specific contexts is of course bound to be ‘new’, bringing with it a ‘new’ understanding of modernity, what I shall call a ‘spiritualized’ modernity. This spiritualized modernity differs substantially from traditional (Western) concepts of modernity, the latter being based on the assumption that modernity is the result of the process of secularization. Understood as the regionalization of national politics, today’s actors increasingly draw on adat (intermingled with agama) to make their actions and messages publicly more convincing and powerful. Thus Balinese modernity is an inverse process that turns away from Western secularism to ideas of spirited or spiritualized politics. While it was important for the Balinese during the New Order regime to establish agama as a separate category in order to have it recognized by the Indonesian state as a world religion (Ramstedt 2004a), the reuniting of adat and agama seems to be an ongoing process. In the political contexts of today, political actors use the amalgamation of adat and agama with dinas to

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demonstrate their grass-rootedness – their deep commitment to Balinese culture – while at the same time they take part in everyday national politics. This ‘spiritualization’, I suggest, has to be viewed in the context of the decolonization process, the revival of an understanding of politics not restricted to rationality and secularism (Day 2002).

Religion, politics and ‘the’ state ‘Religion’ and ‘politics’ suggest separate entities, and their separation into different categories makes sense only against a backdrop of European history, with its creation of the secular nation-state. There, the separation of ‘religion’ (i.e. the Church) from the state and state politics has become a defining element. To apply these categories to other states with other historical roots is to invite misunderstandings. As Asad has demonstrated: ‘“politics” and “religion” turn out to implicate each other since “religion” was always involved in the world of power’ (Asad 2003: 200, original emphasis). It is therefore important to ask ‘how, when, and by whom are the categories of religion and the secular defined?’ (ibid.: 201). Bali is an excellent example of a place where state politics and religion were never separate entities (nor other categories such as ‘economics’, for that matter). This is just as true for historical Bali documented by indigenous sources dating as far back as the ninth century as it is today. Indigenous pre-colonial texts reveal concepts of rulership that included magical-religious capacities and performances. Indeed, these were the prerequisites of kingship and successful rule. Historical studies on ruling houses in Bali (Agung 1989; Wiener 1995; Schulte Nordholt 1996) show that the political organization of the pre-colonial state depended heavily on rituals that comprised political, religious and economic elements closely interwoven with each other (Hauser-Schäublin 2004b). Tony Day broke new ground in showing that the character of Southeast Asian states1 is based on a ‘very old repertoire of … practices, one that can be described as both rational and ritualistic’ (2002: 37); this implies a state in which magic or spirits, deities and magical power did not stand in opposition to rational actions. He defines the Southeast Asian state as follows: The state is a complex agent that acts through culturally constructed repertoires of potent, rational, authoritative, magical, symbolic, and illusory practices, institutions, and concepts. The state is distinct from yet interactive with societal forces, in ways that vary according to time and place. (ibid.: 34) This definition, including as it does rational as well as magical practices, clearly does not fit into the Weberian concept of the rational or bureaucratic state, a concept he distinguished from other forms of rule, such as traditional or charismatic rule.

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The concept of the rational or bureaucratic state as a superior or a more developed form of rule is, as Asad (2003) has shown, an indirect outcome of the Enlightenment in Europe. The same applies to the idea of modernization: modernization and rationality go hand in hand and rest on the same foundation and set of assumptions. At the conceptual base of the modern state lies the separation of politics from religion and the notion of reason ruling over irrationality. Politics is conceived as a public matter, religion as a private one. The modern state is seen as an achievement that has shaken off all forms of traditional, charismatic authority and rule. In brief, a modern state is designed to be a ‘secular’ state. As Asad has shown, ‘secular’ implies a special kind of access to the world and its reality – a ‘disenchantment’, ‘a stripping away with myth, magic, and the sacred’ (2003: 13), in favour of a rationally based world of social and political actions, science included. Nevertheless, as Asad argues, the sacred and the secular depend on each other. To speak about ‘religion’ makes it necessary to talk about ‘the secular’ – and vice versa. By now, secularization as a precondition for a modern rational state, and the liberal politics, democracy included, that are assumed to go with it, has become a political doctrine for governments in Europe and the United States, and secularism has been applied as a moral desideratum for all countries around the globe. Therefore, Asad views secularism as a ‘colonial imposition, an entire worldview that gives precedence to the material over the spiritual’ (ibid.: 21). Moreover, secularism is, according to Asad, linked to the rise of the system of capitalist nation-states (ibid.: 7). In addition, secularism is a political medium through which citizenship is shaped: it therefore redefines and transcends the practices of the individual articulated through class, gender, and religion (ibid.: 5). This implies that secularism seeks to provide the self with a new identity, a form of identity breaking with local and traditional processes of identity construction. Instead, the idea of the individual being a member of a national community has come to predominate (Anderson 1991). The secular can therefore also be seen as the precondition for the emergence of nationalism (Asad 2003: 193).

Dinas as a means of secularization This brief consideration of what lies behind the idea of the ‘modern’ nationstate makes it easier to recognize the difference that Day has called typical of Southeast Asian states, namely the constituent principles of rationality combined with spirituality. Notions of the ‘secular’ as a pervading ideology of the state seem to have been totally absent. The Western concept of the state was alien to pre-colonial Southeast Asian states; Bali is no exception to this. The colonial empire the Dutch created had little regard for the structure of the indigenous states and their basic principles. The Dutch brought the model of the nation-state to the Dutch East Indies and implemented some of its basic ideas.

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With the Village Act of 1906 (Furnivall 1948: 22), the Dutch introduced an administration that involved the superimposition of a new socio-political system. In Bali, it was this Inlandsche Gemeente Ordonnantie Buitengewesten2 that overturned the indigenous banjar (‘hamlet’) and desa (village) organization (Korn 1932: 309–41). The Dutch added a new standardized village structure to the already existing – and varying – forms of village organizations. Two separate categories of ‘internal affairs’ and ‘government affairs’ (‘gouvernementswerkzaamheden’) were established (Haga 1922: 428). The new administrative units – at that time not yet called desa dinas3 but ‘gouvernementsdesa’ (Haga 1922; Hunger 1933) – were created without regard to existing structures and offices. The duties of the former office-holders were modified and the offices themselves were restructured. This reorganization was justified by what colonial officers in Bali described as the ‘great chaos’ that they found there. This confusion needed to be overcome by introducing a clear order and a standardized and direct administration, designed by the colonial power, as Korn had already noticed, for its own ends (1932: 309). A standardized territorial division was designed to facilitate the access of the colonial government to land as a means of production as well as to the levying of taxes. Through these measures, indirect rule was implemented and a distinction between ‘gouvernmenteele overkapping’ (the governmental superstructure) and the ‘Balische onderbouw’ (the Balinese substructure) (Residentsbesluit 27 December 1922) was accomplished. The Balinese substructure were ‘adatdesa’, which Hunger described as Bale Agung-communities, the bale agung being the hall for official meetings of the villagers and located in a sacred area (temple) (Hunger 1933: 603). All issues of concern to the community were discussed there, in the presence of the gods. As Hunger (and several writers before and after him) pointed out, desa and banjar were based on a community of shared ritual practices (ibid.: 604; see also Goris 1960). As a result, the new system introduced by the Dutch entailed the splitting up of village life (and social life in general) into two spheres, desa dinas as the realm of the state (colonial administration) and desa adat, the rather loosely defined realm of local customs and religious practices. A further goal of this far-reaching restructuring of village life was to implement an efficient government and to adapt the colony to the modern world (Furnivall 1948: 241). Any administration had to be independent of the variety of local political institutions and cross-cutting vertical relationships of the kind typical of pre-colonial Bali. The newly introduced administrative pattern was intended to create a structure that was also independent of any ethnic or religious (adat and agama) commitments (Schulte Nordholt 1996: 240–1), a point which the Dutch particularly noted (Hauser-Schäublin 2004a: 35–6). Following the pattern of a Western national state, the colonial government was intended to be secular (Schulte Nordholt 1994). And the newly created dinas structure was felt to be a solid basis on which a secular government could be set up. The two forms of village structure, the traditional and the newly introduced, mirror the conception of an adat society and, independent of this,

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the colonial/national state, each having its own responsibilities (Heesterman 1986).4 When Indonesia became an independent nation, its administration system followed that designed by their former colonial masters. The system, based on the division of social life into desa dinas and desa adat, was even elaborated and standardized. Dinas came to stand more or less for state or state administration and state power (Warren 1993: 296). The Constitution of the post-colonial state and the way its people were to be ruled took as a starting point the notion of the equality of its subjects and, with it, the separation of state governance from religion – and later also of modernization and development. Part of this ideology was the axiom that the state should not give any one culture, religion or social stratum precedence over any other. The cultural background of the citizens was not to play any formal role; instead, the cultural diversity and local customs were to contribute to the nation’s richness. The state and its administration were to be perceived as unifying its subjects at a higher level of organization.

The political power of adat and its restoration By contrast to dinas, adat, though originally an artificial category in Bali, can be regarded as a counter-balance to the superimposed state power. The political power that is per se inherent in adat has never been stripped of the many guises under which adat had been allowed to persist since its coming into being as a category during the colonial era. In Bali, this became apparent during the New Order regime, when in the early 1990s adat was used for the first time as the main lever of protest against the mega-tourism projects in the vicinity of holy places for which the national government had granted permits to national and transnational investors (Warren 1998, 2007). It was the amalgamation of adat and agama that empowered the protests and gave them international publicity. Retrospectively, these actions can be called a ‘watershed’ in the relationship of the Balinese to the local and the national, adat and dinas authority (Warren 2007: 171). Adat revivalism has to be seen also against the backdrop of the New Order regime’s failure to maintain conditions of peace and order (Davidson and Henley 2007: 16). The two bomb attacks in Bali in 2002 and 2005, in which over 220 people were killed and hundreds severely injured, were taken in Bali as proof that the national government was unable to protect the tiny province of Bali against terrorist attacks from the outside (Hauser-Schäublin 2007). In its aftermath, the Balinese decided to take their destiny into their own hands and to rely on their own concentrated strength. This led to the ajeg movement, a mobilization of the Balinese to form a cultural fortress in order to defend the Balinese cultural identity by promoting a strong and resilient Bali (Naradha 2004; Titib 2005; Schulte Nordholt 2007; Picard 2009). A new law issued in 1999 allowed a far-reaching move to decentralization and political reformation. By this law, the Indonesian government attempted

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to achieve an increase in democracy as well as in economic and political activity and participation in shared political concerns of Indonesia throughout the country (Schulte Nordholt 2003; Schulte Nordholt and van Klinken 2007). In Bali, decentralization led to a re-emphasis of adat and a deemphasis of dinas. People’s perspective turned towards their own region and localities and less to structures, processes and problems that bound them to Indonesia as an encompassing political and social body (Warren 2007). It was only with a further new law (Undang-Undang No. 32, 2004) that the division of labour between the central and the provincial government was delineated.5 It is interesting to note that the central government has kept the realm of agama as its own domain. In the commentary to this paragraph, the following examples are given of the central government’s jurisdiction over religion: the decision about religious holidays whether they become a national holiday, the (official) recognition of a religion, the setting up of policies for the implementation of religious life and similar issues. Also, the national Ministry of Religion has a respectable budget to spend and far-reaching influence. It has the right to establish and run (religiously oriented, that is, almost exclusively Muslim) universities that are independent of the Ministry of Education. The teachers of religion in regular schools are paid by this ministry, too.6 Whereas the national government still claims agama as its own domain, the 1999 and 2004 laws delegate an immense amount of power to the provinces, the regencies and even the villages (desa), including financial capital, due to a newly introduced system of the redistribution of taxes. The village is described in the UU No. 32, 2004 as masyarakat hukum (exactly the same as the Dutch had called rechtsgemeenschap; see Korn 1932), people living within a given territory and with specific (inherited) traditions/customs (adat istiadat) that are considered typical for that place (UU No. 32, 2004: 5, I, 12). The wording of this law and its commentary suggest that the national government sees no direct connection between adat and agama but still adheres to the colonial and New Order phrasing which categorized customary ritual practices as adat rather than agama. However, the way this law is interpreted7 and implemented in Bali (and certainly also beyond) shows that the local understanding of adat definitely includes religion as well. For example, there are no instructions as to how the money that flows back to the villages (redistribution of taxes) should be used. The traditional village assembly has sole power to decide on the way this money is spent; it may be used for religious purposes (buildings, etc.) as well. The villages, with their far-reaching autonomy – some of them have even started to levy taxes from migrants living on village territory (Warren 2007: 174) – are defined as ‘desa pakraman’.8 According to this law, a desa pakraman is constituted by the people belonging to this community and defined by shared traditional law. This traditional law is inspired by the teachings of Hindu religion, and the values of the culture (budaya)

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play an important role in religion and in social life; they have therefore to be protected, preserved and consolidated.9 The desa pakraman is first and foremost identified as a ‘genealogical village’,10 that is, a community with shared descent, owning a definite territory and displaying the (Hindu) three village temples system (kahyangan tiga or kahyangan desa). This combination of genealogical, territorial and religious factors gives the desa pakraman a dimension of closed, both socially and culturally homogeneous units. Much of the content of this law thus suggests the existence of ‘authentic’ and self-contained villages, more or less what Liefrinck had suggested in the late nineteenth century by introducing the term ‘dorpsrepubliek’ (Liefrinck 1890; see also Korn 1933), although this was finally shown to be a too onesided perspective.11 In fact, drawing on Liefrinck and Korn, the picture of ‘republiek desa’ is today invoked as a model of a tried and tested way of living together, romanticized as ‘kolegial-konsensus’ (Janamijaya et al. 2003: VI), a term that downplays the existence of competition and complex hierarchical relationships in villages (Howe 2001). The implications of such definitions and the kinds of actions they make possible are far-reaching. The consequences cannot be anticipated.12 Movements within the national state, from one island to others, between regencies in Bali, or between villages and towns, as well as intermarriages, are almost completely ignored under this system. Moreover, regulations issued by the dominant cultural group – the Hindu Balinese – pay almost no attention to villages with inhabitants who have followed other religious practices since time immemorial. These include the Muslims or the Christian and Chinese (Buddhist) communities, not to mention the numerous migrants who have over the past hundred years come to Bali from other parts of Indonesia and have established new villages there.13 The life of minorities within the province is in any case becoming more difficult than under the conditions of the New Order regime (Suaedy 2007). Adat seems to be an expanding field, since one of the responsibilities of the national government has been partially appropriated by adat as well: security. The village adat police, the pecalang, formerly consisting of villagers appointed as ‘watchmen’ at a particular ceremony, are now in charge of security within the village territory (Perda No. 3, 2001: 65, Chapter X, Article 17). The dinas police, in turn, have taken action to face up to this new challenge of a village-based ‘co-police’. Formerly the police were seen mainly by villagers as actors of a top-down government and were therefore often treated with suspicion. The ‘official’ police now call themselves the ‘police of the people’ (polisi masyarakat) with the task to ‘serve and protect people’ (melayani dan melindungi masyarakat). The attempt to become more peopleoriented rather than demonstrate that they act on behalf of the state authority has been well received. The cooperation between village pecalang and police is apparently on its way to become institutionalized in some respects,

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as far as I could observe during my fieldwork in Batur village, Kintamani (Bangli).14 Thus, today the national laws and provincial regulations allow a conflation of what were earlier seen as separate domains. In other provinces of Indonesia, such as West Sumatra, the abolition of desa dinas and a return to the ‘traditional’ political structures based on adat has already taken place. This is undoubtedly evidence of the re-empowerment of customary institutions in dealing with local governance. Adat is used in this context as a magic formula to stamp out all social evil (von Benda-Beckmann et al. 2007: 22). The debate whether desa dinas and desa adat should be re-unified has not yet come to an end in Bali (Warren 2007).

Political actors and their use of adat and agama The blurring of boundaries between dinas, adat and agama, on the one hand, and the (re-)establishment of new boundaries along the lines of ethnicity and religion, on the other, seem to characterize the socio-political processes that have taken place in Bali. Politicians have started to use their office in order to participate in pilgrimages and rituals. This kind of involvement in religious affairs smacks somewhat of a political opportunism. For example, in July 2006, the Governor of Bali, accompanied by the head of the provincial parliament, took part in a pilgrimage to a Hindu temple established by Balinese in East Java (Pura Mandara Giri Semeru Agung). The priests who officiated there were two high priests from Bali (Bali Post, 23 July 2006). This official visit discreetly pressed the Balinese claim to the territorial ‘roots’, the glorious fifteenth-century kingdom of Majapahit in East Java from where a ‘Hindu’ elite is said to have fled in the wake of Islam. The blending of dinas, adat and agama (and also budaya, culture) became also evident during the run-up to the elections of the governor of the Province of Bali in Spring 2008. Not only the blurring of the old division between dinas, adat and agama, but also the respective scope of authority of the national and the provincial government are well illustrated by the action of one of the three pairs of candidates for the office of the governor and his deputy during the election campaign.15 The most prominent candidate, who finally won the elections in July 2008 and became governor for a five-year period, was the former head of the police of the Province of Bali, I Made Mangku Pastika. He had received international recognition for his efficient search for the terrorists behind the Bali bombings in 2002. Later he became the head of the national anti-drug agency in Jakarta and is well known for his hardline stance. The various offices he held showed him to be a perfect example of a representative of dinas, of which the uniform of the former 3star police general was one of his most impressive symbols. He started the election campaign as an official representative of the national government when he handed over a car to the provincial drug department in his home regency of Buleleng. The gift was designed as a contribution towards the

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efforts of the provincial drug committee to clear Bali of drugs and to keep it that way (Bali Post, 29 March 2008). Conversely, the anti-drug brigade of Buleleng held a parade in support of their leader and had gifts (TV, rice cookers, etc.) ready for sympathizers of the candidate (Bali Post, 19 May 2008). He was a candidate for the party of the former president, Megawati Soekarnoputri (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan, PDIP), who still has many sympathizers and voters in Bali due to the fact that her grandmother had been of Balinese (that is, Hindu) origin. Mangku Pastika appealed to ‘Balinese-ness’ (Kebalian, see Picard 1999a) and professed to be a nationalist (or rather a provincialist). One of his main political goals was security, to keep Bali a safe place. The Association of Advocates (Tim Hukum dan Advokasi) supported the Pastika-Puspayoga team for the same reason (Bali Post, 1 July 2008). In one of his first speeches he stated that, if he became governor, he would cancel the ‘travel advisory’ of the Australian government that warned its citizens from travelling to Bali due to possible further terrorist attacks in Bali. This led to a heated debate about the candidate’s intention as a future provincial leader to interfere with the authority of the national government (Bali Post, 19 March 2008).16 One of his slogans was ‘all out’, meaning that Bali belongs to the (Hindu) Balinese; all other groups, if they did not behave properly, should be expelled. The argument of the PDIP candidates – also that of the mayor of Denpasar, A.A. Gede Ngurah Puspayoga, who was a candidate for the office of the deputy governor – was consistent in so far as influence from outside Bali was seen as infiltration (susup). They publicized the ‘traditional’ hamlet (banjar), as ‘the last fortress that defends Balinese adat and culture’, a fortress, therefore, that has to be maintained and strengthened (Bali Post, 17 April 2008). Nevertheless, such slogans and their political objectives are not restricted to candidates like these but rather mirror a widespread attitude that can be summarized as ‘ajegan Hindu Bali’ (Bali Post, 4 April 2008).17 This ajegan allows no separation of adat from agama, as the definition of the Perda 2001 already clearly spelled out. The bupati of Bangli made it clear when he said that he was developing a strategy to ‘fortify’ (membentengi) his people by discovering and preserving the real Balinese culture (budaya) based on Hindu teaching (ajaran Hindu). His strategy to achieve this goal consisted in the establishment of a Hindu learning institution and the early teaching of Hindu religion already in the kindergarten. Moreover he planned to erect an ashram in collaboration with the Indian Government (Bali Post, 4 April 2008). This ‘strategy’ of a publicly elected head of a regency clearly illustrates the intertwining of dinas, adat (and culture, budaya) and agama. Another striking element is the fact that almost without exception all politicians dress in adat clothing at public meetings. They rarely make use today of their official uniforms. In the New Order days, these uniforms were proudly worn as a symbol of the (dinas) state authority they represented. In the

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election campaigns, most of the candidates were shown in adat clothing of the type typically worn in a temple ritual. Some of them were depicted in a ‘traditional’ greeting pose with raised and folded hands. The adat clothing was clearly intended to show their religious commitment, their grass-rootedness and ‘Balinese-ness’, which in fact encompasses politics, adat and agama. Mangku Pastika invariably showed up in white adat clothing for all the meetings he held in the election campaign, even when he was visiting elderly people or when he was on a ‘safari kesehatan’, a health promotion tour; such health promotion tours were carried out by all the candidates. Since Mangku Pastika always demonstrated his religious commitment, he was referred to as the ‘religious general’ (jenderal religius) by one of the newspapers (Bali Post, 15 May 2008). For the official registration at the election office as a candidate for the governorship, he (and his aspirant deputy) appeared not only in adat dress with an escort of hundreds of followers, but had this event staged as an artistic production. He was accompanied by a bamboo music orchestra (jegog)18 and by two dancers in the costume of the Ramayana figure Hanoman.19 The two candidates had chosen these figures to symbolize and document their commitment to dharma, an honest life-style according to the Hindu teachings (Bali Post, 19 April 2008). Winasa, the candidate with a Muslim wife (see note 17), was, however, the only candidate publicly to complain that religion had become a political instrument to discriminate against and to harm a candidate (that is, himself), this being a violation of the basic rights guaranteed in the 1945 Constitution (Bali Post, 1 July 2008). As part of the election campaigns the candidates made extensive visits to all kinds of social bodies: to desa pakraman, irrigation associations (subak), market places, Brahmana compounds (the Brahmana being the spiritual leaders), to princely compounds (puri) and to hospitals, etc. These visits in the villages took place in traditional meeting areas such as wantilan meeting halls, but even more favoured were well-known temples (Bali Post, 22 April 2008). In the temples, the candidates, most prominently Mangku Pastika, who staged a stunning media production,20 not only prayed for the blessing and the support of the gods but at the same time for the support of the villagers. One of the most challenging events as regards the relationship between politics and religion was the one Mangku Pastika staged in the capital of Denpasar. He invited hundreds of priests (pemangku) from all over Bali. Declared as a kind of nostalgic meeting, he talked to the 500 priests present about the ‘synergy’ the police (on behalf of the material world, sekala) and the priests (on behalf of the unseen world, niskala) had achieved in the wake of the Bali bombings in 2002. Only due to the cooperation between the priests and the police had it been possible, he stated, to trace the terrorists and to protect Bali. To protect Bali, he declared, had been and always would be his goal if he became a governor. He asked the priests for their support in the elections. One of the most influential priests in Bali, Jero Gede Alitan from the Pura Ulun Danu Batur in Batur village, replied that they as spiritual leaders were not prepared to influence their people (umat Hindu). As priests they needed to

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be neutral, since an election concerns individual people whose votes rest on their private decision (NusaBali, 11 April 2008).21 At the same event, Pastika and his wife offered to all priests present the chance to have their eyes checked and to be given a pair of glasses if needed.22 At another meeting Pastika tried to mobilize people based on their claim of common descent, the Pasek. The Pasek are one of the largest affiliations of descent groups of different sub-divisions (warga). Pastika visited several major Pasek temples and asked the gods and the people alike for support. At a meeting with Maha Gotra Pasek Sanak Sapta Rsi, a union of families and clans affiliated with the Pasek descent groups, one of the leading figures of this organization, I Gde Pitana, stressed that a huge organization like the Pasek should take a neutral position in election campaigns. However, he added, if one of the members of the Pasek became a candidate, it would not be wrong to support him. Then Mangku Pastika was introduced as a member of the Pasek, and a further leading member of this organization said that whoever remembered the ancestral deities would know to whom he had to give his vote (Bali Post, 21 April 2008). These many attempts to mobilize people on their ‘safari politik’ (Bali Post, 20 April 2008) provoked considerable reactions in the newspapers. Many voices pointed out that the desa pakraman and affiliations of descent groups should never become the ‘machine of political parties’ or of politics. The introduction of politics into the desa pakraman or the descent groups would poison their unity and give rise to internal conflicts at the grassroots – and this would be the end of ajeg Bali (Bali Post, 22 April 2008).23 The election campaign for the office of governor and his deputy in 2008 showed an unprecedented range and intensity of adat- and agama-focused activities on the part of the candidates. All three candidates for governor were already government officials: Mangku Pastika was a high-ranking officer of the national government, I Gede Winasa was the bupati of Jembrana, and Cokorda Gede Budi Suryawan was the former bupati of Gianyar. Thus, all three were representatives of dinas, and each ran for the highest office of dinas in their province. All of them, however, used adat blended with agama as a vehicle for communication with the Balinese during their election campaigns. The rivalry between the candidates was sometimes reminiscent of the rivalry between the petty kingdoms in pre-colonial time. For example, the bupati of Buleleng, the home regency of the PDIP candidate, prohibited any election campaigns in the form of welfare campaigns in ‘his’ territory which a rival candidate from a neighbouring regency had planned there (NusaBali, 8 April 2008).

Temples and their connection with politicians in power The election campaigns are a paradigm for the blending of what were originally thought of as separate domains. As my earlier investigations have shown (Hauser-Schäublin 2003, 2005), temples and temple organizations with the means and the will to become more influential than others have developed

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strategies that aim to attract important figures in public life, especially politicians.24 It would be too limited, therefore, to view the interaction between public figures and religious life only from the perspective of the political actors. On the contrary, it is often temples and temple boards that take the initiative, hoping to make contact with personalities whom they consider important for the increase of their prestige and influence. For the final ceremony of one of the largest annual rituals held in Bali, the ritual of the 10th month in the Pura Ulun Danu Batur, in 2008, the temple invited 150 top ranking public figures. The list started with the governor, then in second place was the leader of all desa pakraman in Bali; the third was the head of the provincial office of the Ministry of Religion in Denpasar. In addition, all heads of the individual regencies and representatives of all departments on the provincial, regency and subdistrict level were invited. The list also comprised leading representatives of the police and the military, plus the elite of a large number of media. Further, several puri (princely palaces) and their leaders25 were included, too. Apart from the public figures actually in power, all the candidates for the imminent governor elections were also invited. A large number of these people accepted the invitation. Even before this event, numerous meetings had taken place between the heads of the regencies (bupati) and the temple. The temple’s programme sets up a chronological list of days. On each day, one of the regencies – the bupati and their staff but also the people – is expected to come.26 As a rule, it is the head of the regency (or at least his deputy) who accepts the invitation, mostly accompanied by a few dozen subordinates. The bupati are respectfully welcomed and led to the hall set aside for high-ranking guests. A Brahmana priest and often a gong orchestra, shadow players or a dance group, are usually part of the entourage of the bupati (or the mayor). These artistic groups are thought to honour and entertain the gods, the temple board and the congregation of people present. One of the bupati, who was also standing for the office of governor, was even accompanied by a cameraman from a local TV station and a photographer from a magazine (MacRae and Darma Putra 2007); both of them had been invited by the bupati and came as his personal companions, while his staff and deputy had arrived earlier to await his arrival. The high priests of the temple and the leaders of the ritual village association entertained the bupati and his companions in the hall overlooking the whole courtyard of the temple. During this reception, the bupati and his secretary then ritually handed over a substantial amount of money to the Jero Gede, who gave them receipts. Later, the group of honourable visitors were invited to pray in front of the central shrine. Afterwards, they were escorted to the (ritually pure) temple kitchen where a meal was served. The entrance of such public figures is impressive. They often come – though now wearing adat dress – in their official dinas cars, recognizable by their red number plates. They are often accompanied by a cortege of cars, sometimes including a police car with flashing lights and loudspeaker announcements.

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The temple carefully registers all the gifts (in kind or in money) which the pilgrims of different social standing deliver in the course of the temple festival. The biggest financial donations in 2008 came from the Province of Bali (that is, the governor) and the individual regencies (the bupati). In 2008 the governor, whose five-year term was almost over, contributed 100 million Rupiah (almost 8000 Euro). The individual regencies donated between 3 million and 25 million Rupiah.27 Again, the sponsoring of temples and temple rituals follows, in modified form, an old pre-colonial practice of kings that was part of a relationship based on reciprocity, for the benefit of both parties (Hauser-Schäublin 2005).

Politicians as ritual actors in temples The involvement of politicians in temple affairs, on the one hand, and the temples’ interest in attracting public figures on the other, go beyond a visitor/ sponsor relationship, though this is an important factor. Indeed, each shrine of Pura Ulun Danu Batur has a specific sponsor who almost without exception is a ruling house, either in the old sense of the word (a noble ruler) or in the new sense, an officeholder in today’s government. At the closing ritual of the 10th Balinese month in 2008, when the gods were supposed to retreat to their individual shrines and abodes, the politicians and other public figures were invited to render a special service (ngayah) to the gods. Under the direction of the leading priests, the public figures were to line up in the innermost courtyard of the temple. The unmarried young women and men were first asked to fetch the gods in their sedan chairs from the central shrine where they had been residing for the duration of the festival. One of the priests then called out the name of the goddess and the gods, one after the other, and at the same time the name of the person who was to fetch the sedan chair with the deity. First he called upon the governor to carry the symbol of the goddess Dewi Danu, the most important deity of the temple, on his head. The symbol of the deity of Gunung Agung (the ‘brother’ of Dewi Danu) was allocated to the bupati of Buleleng.28 Recently, when the nine-tiered pagoda shrine for the deity of Gunung Agung was struck by lightning and the shrine subsequently burnt down, the bupati of Buleleng offered to cover the expenses of building a new shrine. The representation of the deity I Ratu Gede Maduwe Gumi (‘The One Who Rules the World’ – he is the worldly oriented counterpart of Dewi Danu) was to be carried by the bupati of Bangli, the ‘home regency’ to which the Batur temple belongs. The symbol of the god Astagina was to be carried by a representative of the regency of Badung or rather of its predecessor, the noble house (puri) of Mengwi. One of the Batur priests, who acted as the official speaker of the temple, requested that the symbol of the deified ruler Dalem Waturenggong be carried by the noble house of Ubud.29 The representation of the deity of the Jati temple (Hauser-Schäublin, in press) was to be carried by the Minister of Culture and Tourism from Jakarta (who is of Batur origin).

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The symbol of yet another temple god was carried by the Director of Radio Republik Indonesia. This choice – which surprised all concerned – illustrated how important the media are ranked today: the man was allowed to act on the same level as the political leaders. In a pre-determined order, spatially as well as hierarchically, these public figures had to carefully carry their fragile, sacred burdens on their heads. They had to climb up the elevated entrance reserved for the gods, connecting the inner and the middle temple courtyard. They then had to circumambulate an offering site and return back to the inner courtyard. They were all accompanied by their deputies and other high-ranking civil servants. It was an impressive procession that temporarily united the gods and their worldly counterparts. The public figures subjected themselves to these gods, and became the gods’ vehicles. The deities and deified ancestors (and also the temple board) feel honoured and pleased by such visits made by politically powerful men and their involvement in the rituals. But this service is also a privilege these office holders personally strive for.30 By successfully communicating with the deities, these worldly actors receive the blessing and the legitimation of the deities for their positions. There are many reports of the auspicious effects that visits of high politicians in Balinese temples have had. Jero Gede Alitan recollected that many presidents of the republic had come to the Batur temple in order to pray there, from Suharto to Habibie and Gus Dur.31 The most recent case was the present president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who visited this important sanctuary in 2005. He gave an audience there, to which representatives of ethnic minorities (mainly the Chinese) and other groups in Bali were invited in order to present their problems. Although a Muslim, the president was clad in traditional Balinese dress, I was told. After the meeting he left the temple and continued his tour through other provinces. Shortly after, one of the priests, who is in charge of the Buddhist Chinese shrine in the Batur temple, reported a miracle: one of the statues kept in this shrine started to deliver drops of water (interpreted as holy water, tirta) without any apparent external cause. The news of this miracle quickly spread through the media. The temple priests traced this wonder back to the president’s visit to the temple, since the water had started to emerge only a couple of hours after he had left (Bali Post, 25 March 2005). The reason was the president’s power (kasaktian) that interacted with the power of the deities. The miraculous water was seen as proof of the successful communication of the president with the gods. In the course of the following months, many Chinese and followers of Hindu faith asked if they might have a privately owned statue of a god temporarily housed in the shrine, in the hope of benefitting from this highly spiritualized atmosphere. For the inhabitants of Bali, this incident led to an increasing trust in the Muslim president and his policy, since evidently the Balinese gods (Hindu as well as Buddha) had acknowledged his rule. The president did not return to the Batur temple. Two years later, the statue no longer delivered water. I was

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surprised to learn that people had almost forgotten about it. Apparently such miracles or events need to be reconfirmed or repeated. This was already the case in pre-colonial Bali: a king’s magical power or kasaktian needed to be regularly re-acknowledged. On the occasion of the temple festival of the 10th month in 2008, the president donated 100 million Rupiah to the Batur temple. The leaders of the temple board saw this substantial gift as a reward for the spiritual assistance the temple and its gods had granted him in the form of his successful presidency, whose term was coming to its end.

The governor and the keris: the ‘priest of the world’ In 2007 and 2008, I was able to witness one of the most important fertility rituals in the Batur temple. The governor, assisted by the mayor of the capital, Denpasar, performed one of Bali’s most important rituals, one which had previously been carried out by the highest king.32 To understand the full dimension of this act it is necessary to give a brief outline of the significance of the Batur temple (Hauser-Schäublin 2003, 2005). The temple is located at the head of the major waterways near the Batur volcano and its crater lake. The Batur crater lake is considered to be the largest water reservoir on the island, supplying watersheds to the east, the south and the west. A number of deities are worshipped in this temple, the most powerful being the female deity of the crater lake (Dewi Danu). She stands for fertility, whose primary embodiment is the water that flows from the crater lake to the irrigated rice fields in the plains (Lansing 1991). Small cups of water blessed by the priests are distributed to devotees who make a pilgrimage to the temple. This holy water (tirta), considered the essence of fertility, is used to promote the prosperity and well-being of the people, the livestock and the fields. The temple and its gods are perceived as a major institution responsible for the fertility of plants, animals and humans, in other words, the whole (Balinese) world. At the temple festival of the 10th Balinese month, just before the gods are escorted back to their abodes, the climax of the fertility celebration takes place. At the centre are huge offerings, pulakerti, consisting of heavy bundles. These bundles, or rather crates, contain all species of the yields of the gardens, the mountains, the forests and the lakes. They symbolize everything the world contains. In order to guarantee the continuity of fertility, which is seen as an eternal cycle of birth, maturation, decay, death and rebirth, the produce of the world has to be returned to its origins; it has to dissolve in its primordial elements. This is accomplished through a ritual stabbing of the pulakerti, their partial cremation and, finally, burial in the most sacred part of the temple (behind the shrines of the two paramount deities). The instrument with which this crucial act is performed is a magically powerful and sacred keris kept in the Batur temple. A keris may not be touched by anybody except the leading priests of the temple or somebody appointed by them.

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In earlier days, a keris (or another sharp weapon of different shape) was the most important symbol of the magical power of a king (Wiener 1995). The magical power of the keris was equivalent to the magical power (sakti) vested in a powerful king. A king was able to conquer his enemies with such a keris. However, it was important to preserve and regularly ‘reload’ the dagger with as much magical power as possible.33 A king was supposed to lose his power, and thus his right to rule, if one of his rivals managed either to defile his keris or to steal it. The most important keris in Bali, as far as they have not yet been appropriated by the art market and keris collectors all over the world (Wiener 2007), have a long history. It is the individual history of a keris that contributes to its symbolic capital, its reputation and thus its power (Ramseyer 1995; Pedersen 2006). On the other hand, as Ramseyer wrote about one famous keris, if a king held it in his hand and dipped it into a beaker, the keris was able to transform ordinary water into the most potent and purifying holy water (1995: 271). Thus the keris was – and still is – the most powerful weapon in a ruler’s hands. Only here does it unfold its full magical power without harming him. Keris are still used today34 in a variety of rituals performed by the successors of the old kings: politicians and higher government officials. Pedersen tells the story of Megawati in 1998 when she stood for president. She visited the princely compound of Sidemen before a major ritual was held there. She was presented with the powerful keris (the history of which Ramseyer had described, 1995). Megawati exclaimed that she had dreamt of exactly this keris. Eye-witnesses later described how they had seen rays and smoke emanating from this keris and how it was shaking when it was taken out for a ritual cleansing just before Megawati arrived. The radiation from the keris was interpreted as a sign that Megawati would receive power from this keris and probably become (vice-)president. Its radiation was explained in terms of the keris’ ‘knowing’ already about Megawati’s wish to ask for wangsupada, the holy water resulting from the cleansing of the keris (Pedersen 2006: 84, 274–6; 2008). One sees from the above story that between political actors and a powerful keris there exists a reciprocal relationship: the keris started to radiate and to vibrate, since Megawati’s visit was imminent and she was expected to ask for its holy water. Conversely, Megawati had already established a relationship to this keris in an earlier dream. Both political actor and keris seem therefore to need one another to establish their respective power and to provide this public evidence. These explanations bring us back to the pulakerti ritual in the Batur temple. After a communal meal in the temple and prayers, the high priest in charge of relations with public figures, Jero Gede Alitan, handed the keris, one of the heirlooms of the temple, to the governor. The governor raised the keris first to his forehead35 and meditated for a moment. Then, with a jerk, he stabbed one of the huge offerings wrapped in cloth. As in a fight, the audience loudly spurred him on to continue the stabbing until the contents of

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the pulakerti started to trickle out. In 2008, when several high-ranking political actors were present, a second keris was handed to the Minister of Culture and Tourism and both governor and minister performed the ritual simultaneously, though on two different pulakerti. Each of them then handed the keris to the bupati of Bangli and the bupati of Buleleng, who did the same. The pulakerti were then partly dismantled, a fire was lit, and parts of these and decorations from other shrines were ceremonially cremated. A large number of officials took part in this procedure, guided by the priests. It was apparently important that each of them should either kindle the fire or poke about in it. People tried to get hold of some of the ash to smear it on their faces. The remaining ash was then wrapped in small bundles and then carried like deities on people’s heads. The rest of the pulakerti and these puppet-like symbols were finally buried in the immediate vicinity of the shrines of the deity of the crater lake (Dewi Danu) and her male counterpart, Ratu Maduwe Gumi. The ‘killing’ of the pulakerti, their partial cremation and final burial of the ashes complete the eternal circle of growing, maturation, decaying and finally dying – dissolving into the elements that constitute new life, the precondition for regeneration. In the context of this ritual, the political leader, in earlier times the king but today the governor, becomes, as one of my research participants put it, the ‘mangku bumi’, the priest of the whole world. It is in his hands that the fertility of the whole island and its inhabitants rests at this moment. And through this ritual the governor receives spiritual acknowledgment of his legitimate rule over the island. The success of the performance has given proof of his capability to handle the magical power (kasaktian) without harm. In this way, the ritual, the deities and their power constituted a source of power for the ‘secular’ politician, and vice versa, his kasaktian was a precondition for the successful performance of the ritual.

Conclusion The comparative perspective applied in this chapter included pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial political policies and socio-religious practices. This historical perspective revealed that today’s practices that I have called ‘spiritualized politics’ are neither ‘new’ nor exclusively the result of the decentralization policies of the present Indonesian government. When the Republic of Indonesia took over the Dutch colony, it also took over the Dutch system of administration. Only since the fall of the Suharto regime has this system of administration been seriously questioned in Bali. However, the discussion and the efforts to abolish the imposed division of social life into the units of desa dinas and desa adat cannot be understood simply in terms of the resistance of a tiny province to a national government, with its centralization of power that the Balinese had suffered under before. Rather, it has to be seen also in the context of a de-colonizing process on the local level,36 containing the revival of an understanding of politics and political life not restricted to the Western concept of the state, a concept with rationality and secularism as its base.

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The spiritualized politics carried out by political actors and, conversely, the mingling of ritual practices and religion with politics by religious actors display many similarities with those of earlier times. The blending of the formerly distinct entities of adat, dinas and agama is modelled on what Day called ‘a very old repertoire of … practices, one that can be described as both rational and ritualistic’ (2002: 37). In this respect it would be appropriate to use Schulte Nordholt’s expression of ‘changing continuities’ (2003: 552). Politics in Bali (and elsewhere in Indonesia) did not exist as a discrete category. Conversely, religion and religious practices (as well as religious institutions) did not exist without politics. The separation of these categories mirrors, as I have shown, a concept of the state, government and rule that is deeply rooted in European history. The call to go ‘back to the roots’, and the revitalization of adat, is a threefold process that involves an attempt to return to (romanticized) pre-colonial conditions. At the same time this call is a move towards self-determination, that is, the regaining of self-esteem and self-reliance that, due to the New Order regime, the Balinese had lost for a long time. The revitalization of adat has been accompanied by an increase and intensification of rituals and religious institutions. This seems to be a development not restricted to rural areas but involves cities as well. People invest a surprisingly (at least to Westerners) large amount of money in these efforts. The rituals and participation therein constitute today an important part of their identity as modern Balinese citizens – ‘performed identity’ – within the Indonesian state. Moreover, the spiritualized politics today’s Balinese actors practise has also to be viewed against the backdrop of an increasing Islamization taking place in Indonesia. The Bali bombings, seen as an excrescence of Islamization from which the national government was unable to protect their subjects, seriously harmed Bali’s international reputation and its economy. Spiritualized politics should also therefore be seen as the efforts of a tiny Hindu minority to survive in ‘a sea of Islam’ and a province’s effort to find its own way into the future (Sukardika 2004). Nevertheless, between the beginnings of the Dutch colony in the nineteenth century and the Republic of Indonesia in the twenty-first century lie a broad range of irreversible historical changes that have resulted in a global, deeply interlinked world society. And probably none of Indonesia’s provinces is so deeply embedded in this world-wide network of interdependence than Bali, representing a challenge that Bali will have to face for many years to come.

Acknowledgements The research between 1997 and 2008 in North and Central Bali upon which this chapter is based was sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Bonn.

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Notes 1 Regarding the concept ‘Southeast Asia’, see Kratoska et al. (2005). 2 This law (the Village Act), which for Java and Madura had already been introduced in 1906, in Bali became fully effective only in 1938. Previous to this, a series of resolutions had achieved a continuous modification of the administrative units (Wälty 1997: 285). 3 I was unable to discover when exactly the term desa dinas was introduced. The Dutch coined the term desadienst (Vollenhoven 1933: 386), dienst apparently meaning in this context obligations and services to be rendered to the colonial government. 4 The revitalization of adat in the context of otonomi daerah (regional autonomy) in post-Suharto Indonesia shows that there never existed a clear-cut division between state and society (Parker 2003: 5–10). The opposition is in any case an artificial one. 5 The terminology used in this law is an indication of the changing role the government is ready to accept. Instead of ‘just’ ‘Republik Indonesia’, the UU No. 32, 2004 speaks of the ‘sistem Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia’, ‘The System of The United Republic of Indonesia’ (in the Preamble of the President, paragraph a, UU No. 32 2004:1). This terminology emphasizes the integrative function of the state. 6 The Balinese claimed in April 2008 that the schools were lacking about 1400 teachers of agama Hindu and asked the Ministry of Religion to allocate the money needed. 7 The Undang-Undang Pemerintahan Daerah was published in 2004, three years after the Provincial Government of Bali had issued a regulation for its own province (Peraturan Daerah Provinsi Bali (Perda), No. 3, 2001). This regulation was modified in 2003 in so far as the paragraph on the duties of the subdistrict heads, camat, is no longer restricted to administrative affairs. Further, the lands owned by desa pakraman (see below) are no longer freed from taxes. 8 The new name ‘desa pakraman’ (borrowed from old Balinese texts) blurs the fact that, earlier, a division was made between the desa dinas and the desa adat. The desa pakraman suggests that villages are now treated as a single unity, as was the case in pre-colonial times. 9 The Governor of Bali acknowledges that the ‘desa pakraman sebagai kesatuan masyarakat hukum adat yang dijiwai oleh ajaran agama Hindu dan nilai-nilai budaya yang hidup di Bali sangat besar peranannya dalam bidang agama dan sosial budaya sehingga perlu diayomi, dilestarikan, dan diberdayakan’ (Perda No. 3, 2001: 11). 10 In the explanation to UU No. 32, 2004, this term (‘desa geneologis’) is explicitly used (in the paragraph 10, Desa, p. 148). 11 For an excellent discussion of ‘village’ in Bali, see Guermonprez (1990). 12 Davidson and Henley rightly pointed out that these new revisionist perspectives are partly tainted by a ‘Blut und Boden’ mentality (2007: 25). In 2008, I saw in a number of bookshops in Bali the promotion of Hitler’s Mein Kampf ’ (in Indonesian) and other publications that date back to the German Nazi regime. 13 There are some sentences in the regulation concerning villages that do not fit in with the definition of a genealogical village; however, these seem to be more addenda than core issues. 14 Before the large annual ceremony in one of the major temples on the island, the Pura Ulun Danu Batur in Batur village, took place in March 2008, there was an important meeting between the village officials and the pecalang, on the one hand, and leaders of the police at regency (kabupaten) and subdistrict (kecamatan) level. They jointly developed a strategy to deal with the tens of thousands of pilgrims who come by car to the temple each day. 15 The strategies of the candidates had much in common with what MacRae and Darma Putra (2007) described for the local government election in 2005.

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16 Moreover, he was publicly told that drawing up another nation’s ‘travel advisory’ was not in the hands of a governor but of the state concerned. 17 Another pair of candidates for the offices of governor and his deputy were associated with the slogan ‘Bali Harmoni’, a ‘harmonized’ Bali, as is the name of an organization that assisted these candidates in their campaigns. The issue of coexistence between people of different faith and origin, to which the slogan apparently referred, was not popular, however. The candidate for the office of the governor, I Gede Winasa, was in 2008 the bupati of Jembrana. His wife is a practising Muslim who has already made a pilgrimage to Mecca. In 2008, she was the bupati of Banyuwangi, the eastern Javanese regency just across the strait between the two islands (Schulte Nordholt 2007: 79–83). However, people in Bali wondered how this candidate could perform the duties of a governor, who is frequently asked to officially participate in temple rituals together with his wife. He was publicly criticized for his ambivalent attitude towards agama Hindu (Bali Post, 4 June 2008, 5 June 2008). 18 Jegog are typical of the regency of Jembrana where one of his rivals came from. 19 In the Ramayana epic, Hanoman is the commander and leader of an army of monkeys. He is the symbol of a formidable warrior. In another context, Pastika called himself a ksatria, that is, a warrior. This alluded to his resoluteness to fight anything that might endanger the peace in Bali. 20 It is most impressive to see how the campaigns also operate through the media (MacRae and Darma Putra 2007). Mangku Pastika’s homepage (www.pastikayoga. org) illustrates his use of media very well. 21 He added that he as an individual supported Pastika and Puspayoga. 22 During the election campaigns many promises were made by all candidates, as is usual. Among these promises were free education and health care for everybody. But gifts were also given, especially basic foodstuffs (such as rice) to poorer villages and regions, and also wheelchairs to handicapped persons. 23 A similar call for neutrality was made by the head of the police to the members of the police and their families (Bali Post, 25 March 2008). 24 Rivalry between temples exists within villages, as can be seen, for example, in the regency of Bangli. The ‘success’ of a temple depends to a large extent on the size of the circle of public personages and media that can be induced to participate in the major rituals. 25 Over the past few years, several leading nobles of puri have re-established themselves as ‘raja’ by a coronation (abhiseka) ritual. The most recent took place in Tabanan (Bali Post, 22 March 2008). 26 A further day is scheduled for the provincial capital Denpasar. 27 There were many individuals (and companies, banks included) from Bali and beyond who donated large sums of money to the temple. Mangku Pastika contributed 5 million Rupiah. 28 The officeholder of the bupati of Buleleng has always played an important role in the temple festival at Batur, since he is obliged to contribute a water buffalo. The bupati had inherited this obligation from his predecessor, the king of Buleleng. 29 Since an important member of the noble house of Ubud had died a couple of days before, no representative of Ubud was present as the family members were considered impure (sebel). 30 Only public figures in power were allowed to perform the task of carrying the gods; mere political aspiration was not sufficient. When I discussed the involvement of politicians in this major ritual in the Batur temple, Jero Gede Alitan said that these public figures do not come as politicians to the temple but as ‘umat Hindu’, members of the Hindu Bali congregation. A similar remark was made regarding members of the noble house in Sidemen in 1998 when President Megawati was to participate in a ritual there: Megawati ‘came by invitation; there was no question of politics’ (Pedersen 2006: 266).

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31 The priest noted with some surprise that Megawati, who had always emphasized her Balinese blood when she was in Bali, had never come to the Batur temple. 32 In 2008, the governor was accompanied by the bupati of Bangli and Buleleng, and by the Minister of Culture and Tourism from Jakarta. 33 One of the ceremonies of ‘reloading’ a royal keris, or rather cleansing and bringing it into contact with the most important deities of the temple and their aura, took place in the Batur temple. 34 Even President Suharto owned a large collection of keris. He apparently kept this collection not only for the material value of these holy weapons, but also for their magical power (Bangunjiwo 2007). 35 Magically powerful weapons such as daggers and swords are used in a similar way in many regions of Southeast Asia. In the course of the coronation of the 13th raja in Malaysia, the king first kissed a golden Koran and then held a small sword to his forehead as a symbol of power before he made a vow (Bali Post, 27 April 2007). 36 It is my impression that the debate about Balinese colonial experience has taken a new turn in the past few years. One of my most knowledgeable Balinese research participants fervently defended the Dutch, who had been criticized by many others for the yoke of colonialism they imposed. He pointed out that the Dutch preserved adat and even saved the most important temples, such as the Pura Besakih and the Pura Batur, following earthquakes and volcano eruptions. Under the New Order regime, the Dutch tended to be glorified, while in the post-Suharto era this has changed rather to the negative. More research is needed on the changing Balinese perspectives on their colonial past.

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Index

abangan 9, 13–16, 26, 49, 58, 69, 71–91, 118, 129; abanganism 72–77, 79–82, 84, 868–90 adat 1, 3, 5–8, 19–20, 32, 45–46, 49–50, 54, 60–62, 64, 69, 72, 74, 103, 119, 121–22, 124–25, 135, 139, 142, 143, 149–50, 152, 158, 160, 163, 165–66, 182, 184, 187, 193–94, 197–205, 211–12, 214; adatrecht 6, 46, 60; adat kebiasaan 6; adat law 49, 51, 60–62, 64–65, 68–69 agama, igama 3–4, 6–7, 15, 51–52, 54, 56–60, 62, 68, 112, 126, 135, 139, 142, 151, 153, 163, 166, 194, 201 agamapramana 19, 151; Agama Bali 119, 131, 140; Agama Bali Hindu 119, 123; Agama Buda 69, 140; Agama Hindu 19, 118–19, 126–29, 131, 136–38, 140–42, 161, 212; Agama Hindu Bali 118–19, 126–28, 131, 135–38, 142, 166; Agama Islam 20, 51, 58, 69; Agama Jawa 20; Agama Siwa 140, 158, 166; Agama SiwaBuda 140, 166; Agama Tirta 140, 166; Agama Trimurti 140; agama wahyu 130 Agnihotra 131 aja wera, haywa werah 140, 153 Ajeg Bali 18, 136, 142, 198, 202, 204 Alevi 72, 88 Aliansi Kebangsaan untuk Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan (AKKBB) 109 alim (see ulama) aliran 54, 82, 84; aliran kepercayaan 13–15, 17–18 (see kepercayaan) Alitan, Jero Gede 203, 207, 209, 213 animism 31, 74; animist 2, 11, 23, 32, 36, 123

Arab 66–67, 81, 96; Arabia 66, 81, 94; Arabic 5–6, 19, 29, 37, 50–51, 64–66, 77, 89, 98, 111, 121, 140; Arabization 50, 103 Arya Samaj 131 Asad, Talal 3, 19, 195–96 asas tunggal 16 Badan Kongres Kebatinan Indonesia (BKKI) 14, 83 Badan Kongres Kepercayaan Kejiwaan Kerohanian Kebatinan Indonesia (BK5I) 15 Bakker, Frederik Lambertus 124, 152–53, 156, 159, 163–65, 169 Bali Adnjana 121, 123, 135, 155 Bali Darma Laksana 123–24, 165 Bali Post 134, 142, 201–4, 207, 213–14 balian 141, 146, 163, 167, 173; balian taksu 191–92 bangsa 121, 139; kebangsaan 11, 41, 59, 121 banjar 169, 197, 202 Barong 169, 174, 178–79, 181–82, 190–91 Barth, Fredrik 74, 78, 146, 154, 167, 193 belief 1–3, 5–6, 11–13, 15–17, 20, 23, 36, 44, 51, 58, 67, 73, 75, 85, 93–95, 99, 101, 103–6, 109, 111, 122–23, 125, 138, 140, 143, 147–48, 151, 155–56, 159–62, 186 Berita Nahdlatoel Oelama (BNO) 50–56, 58–60, 63–67, 69–70 bhakti 1, 156 Biro Urusan Agama Hindu Bali 126 bombings 18, 132, 142, 201, 203, 211 Brahmana 7, 123, 126, 135, 139, 141, 151–52, 163, 167, 174, 182–86, 189, 203, 205

Index budaya 3, 193, 199, 201–2, 212; kebudayaan 64, 72, 165 Buddhism 2, 7–8, 14–16, 20, 31, 44, 48–49, 51, 67, 737, 85, 91, 96, 104, 134, 140, 158, 166; Buddhist 3, 20, 34, 49, 73–74, 104, 141, 158, 167, 200, 207 burial 55–58, 67, 76–77, 82, 208, 210 caliphate, 96–97 (see khilafah) Calonarang 178–81 Campuan 133, 141 (see Parisada Campuan); Campuan Charter 133 caste 121, 130, 135, 141, 166, 182, 184 Catholic 10, 20, 23–25, 27–44, 47, 99; Catholics 10–11, 24–25, 27–29, 34, 37–43, 45–46, 141; Catholicism 13–15, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33–44, 85, 96; Catholic Church 10, 25, 27, 36, 40, 42, 44–45, 173 Christian 1–3, 5, 7, 9–10, 13–14, 19, 23–26, 29–34, 36–38, 40, 42–43, 49, 86, 94, 98, 102, 123–28, 136, 138–39, 157, 172–73, 176, 200; Christians 2, 5, 11, 13, 16, 18, 23–26, 29–31, 33–36, 41, 43, 45, 51, 73, 104, 108, 123–24, 138, 147; Christianity 1–2, 4–6, 10, 13, 16, 19, 24–27, 29–33, 35–37, 39, 41–44, 46, 51–52, 85–86, 104, 118, 120–23, 125, 128–30, 139, 142, 144, 147, 151, 173, 175–76; Christianization 6, 10, 24–26, 31, 33, 36, 39, 47, 141; Christian mission 10, 44, 86; Christian missionary 25, 86, 120, 122 church, Church 30–31, 35, 37, 46, 86, 98–99, 101, 164, 195 circumcision 36–37, 44–46, 59, 75, 77, 79–80 colonial 2, 4–6, 9–10, 24, 27–28, 31, 35, 37, 39–41, 43, 49, 60–61, 68–69, 74, 81–82, 118–21, 124, 139, 141, 143, 151, 156–57, 160, 163, 166, 184, 194–99, 204, 206, 206, 210–12, 214; colonialism 9, 74, 81, 138 Confucianism 2, 14, 20, 44, 96, 104 consecration 164, 169, 190 Constitution 12–15, 18, 60, 85, 93–95, 97, 99, 101, 104–7, 109, 125, 198, 203 Crawfurd, John 119, 151, 158, 163, 166–67 culture 1–3, 7, 11, 16, 20, 26, 36, 40, 44, 46, 49–51, 64–65, 68, 72, 74, 84, 90, 92–93, 103, 110, 133, 136–37, 145, 147, 156, 163, 166, 170, 172, 179, 184, 190, 193–95, 198–99, 201–2; Ministry of 13, 15, 18, 206, 210, 214

233

dakwah 16, 50, 96 Departemen Agama (see Ministry of Religion) desa 59, 76, 197, 199–200, 212; adatdesa 197; desa adat 197–98, 201, 210; desa dinas 197–98, 201, 210, 212; desa pakraman 199–200, 203–5, 212; gouvernementsdesa 197; republiek desa 200 dewa 137, 173–74, 191 Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia (DDII) 86, 95 Dewi Danu 206, 208, 210 dhanyang 76–77, 86–87 dharma 1, 3–5, 20, 128, 140–42, 155–56, 164, 203 Dharmashastra 4, 140 din 1, 5, 19 dinas 193–94, 196–202, 204–5, 211 Djatajoe 123–24, 163 Dutch 3–6, 9, 10–11, 23–26, 28–32, 37–39, 41–43, 46–47, 49, 56–57, 60–61, 66, 69, 74, 81, 100, 119–20, 123–24, 139, 144, 146, 153, 162, 165, 167, 194, 196–97, 199, 210–12, 214; Dutch East Indies 9, 20, 24, 29, 42–44, 49, 57, 61, 118, 196; Dutch East India Company (VOC) 10, 25, 27 Enlightenment 1, 67, 102, 169, 172, 196 ethnic 8, 13–14, 18–19, 69, 71, 75, 86–87, 103–4, 119, 121, 125, 127–29, 131–32, 136–37, 139–40, 142, 183, 193–94, 197, 207; ethnicity 6, 17, 128, 193, 201 Europe 52, 189, 196; European 5, 9–10, 24–27, 30, 32, 50, 54, 74, 81, 86, 106, 120, 141, 151, 156–57, 165, 195, 211 Europeans 2, 41, 43–44, 46 exorcism 65, 173, 176, 179, 189 fatwa 64, 68, 98, 105, 132 Foucault, Michel 172–73, 180, 189 Forum Cendekiawan Hindu Indonesia (FCHI) 130 Friederich, Rudolph 119, 141, 153–54, 159, 163 Front of the Defenders of Islam (FPI) 96, 98, 109 Geertz, Clifford 20, 49, 58, 68, 74–75, 82, 90, 118, 145, 147–50, 152, 157, 161–63, 177 Geertz, Hildred 74, 142, 143 globalization 106, 142, 186

234

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Golkar 15, 71, 89, 95, 102, 107–8, 111, 133, 135, 140 golongan Islam 11 golongan kebangsaan 11 Goris, Roelof 11, 153, 197 Guermonprez, Jean-François 122, 145, 149, 152, 156, 163–64, 212 Gunung, Ida Pedanda Gede Made 134–35 guru ngelmu 26, 34, 46 habitus 180–81, 192 haji 9, 50, 55–57, 66–69 Hare Krishna 131, 162, 187 Hindu 4–5, 14, 18–20, 23, 32, 48–49, 52–53, 67, 73–75, 78–79, 85–86, 88, 104, 118–20, 125–34, 136–38, 140–42, 146–48, 152, 155–57, 159–61, 165–67, 182–84, 186–87, 189, 193–94, 199–203, 207, 211, 213; Hinduism 2, 5, 7–9, 11, 14–16, 19–20, 49, 52, 54, 58, 73–75, 85–86, 91, 96, 104, 118–20, 122–23, 126, 130–31, 133–34, 136, 138, 141–42, 143–49, 152, 154–62, 167, 169, 182, 184–85, 187, 189–90, 193; Hinduization 118, 143, 160; HinduBuddhism 8, 49, 67; Hindu-Buddhist 7–9, 13, 32, 36, 52 Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia 96–97 Hobart, Mark 161–63 Holy Book 3, 5, 13, 73, 83–84, 124–26, 136, 147, 151, 156, 164–65, 184 (see Kitab Suci) Hooykaas, Christiaan 145, 147, 149–50, 156, 162–65 Howe, Leo 121, 145, 149, 152, 160, 162, 164, 169, 200 Howell, Julia Day 6, 13, 17–18, 20, 89, 118, 129, 145, 148, 155 hukum 3, 6, 20, 122, 199, 202, 212; hukum adat 212 Ikatan Cendekiawan Muslim Indonesia (ICMI) 16, 130 ilmu 56, 65, 77–78, 94 India 3–5, 7, 19–20, 44, 52, 63, 66, 73, 81, 94, 121, 123, 126–27, 131–32, 138, 140–41, 147, 151, 154–55, 157, 159, 165, 187, 193; Indian 4, 7–8, 80, 122, 127, 130–31, 136, 138, 140–42, 143–44, 148, 153–54, 156–57, 160, 162–63, 165–66, 185, 187, 190, 192, 202; Indianization 7–8, 47, 133, 138, 182, 184 Indische Kerk 25

Indo-European 10, 24, 26 Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI) 41, 71–72, 83 International Academy of Indian Culture 144, 154 Islam 3, 5–6, 8–20, 23, 26–29, 32, 34, 36–39, 44, 46–47, 48–54, 56–65, 68–70, 71–85, 87–90, 92, 94, 96–99, 101–6, 108–10, 118–23, 125, 128–30, 132, 136–40, 142, 144, 147, 151, 158, 182, 185, 193, 201, 211; Islam Jawa 75, 79, 85; Islamic 3–6, 8–9, 11–13, 15–20, 23, 28–29, 31–32, 35–37, 42, 45, 48–50, 52–55, 58–59, 61–65, 67–69, 71, 73–87, 89–90, 92–93, 95–101, 104–5, 107, 109, 111, 120, 125–26, 129, 131–32, 139–40; Islamic law (see sharia) 12, 49, 52–54, 60–64, 68–69, 85, 89, 94, 99, 110–11; Islamic parties 12, 15, 17–18, 95, 98, 108, 128; Islamic state 11, 23, 52, 68, 72, 89, 94, 96–97, 104, 108–10; Islamism 53, 62, 92, 99, 103, 106, 108; Islamist 23, 72, 82, 86, 89–90, 92, 96–97, 99, 105–8, 110, 112, 179; Islamization 6, 8, 10, 15–16, 19, 32, 48–50, 54–55, 57–59, 63, 65, 68, 72–73, 81, 83, 87–89, 95–97, 105, 108, 110, 121, 128, 141, 211 jaba 120, 122–23, 130, 139, 141 Jakarta Charter 12, 15, 18, 23, 94–95, 106 Javanism 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 33, 49–50, 54, 56–57, 65, 67–68, 103–4; Javanist 13, 15, 50–51, 55, 58, 67, 69, 82, 93; Javanization 8, 43–44, 88, 93–94, 103 Jesuit 24–25, 27–29, 32, 39–40, 44–46 jihad 18 Kaharingan 137, 141 kala 173–74 Kantor Urusan Agama 11 karma 154, 164; karmaphala 140, 154 kasekten, kasaktian, kesaktian 33, 102, 207–8, 210 (see sakti, shakti) Kasimo, Joseph Ignatius 41–42 kasta 121, 130, 184 Kebalian 18, 121, 202 kebangkitan Hindu 129 kebatinan 13–16, 18, 56, 83–84, 94 kebudayaan (see budaya) kejawen (see Javanism) kejiwaan 15 Kementerian Agama Republik Indonesia (see Ministry of Religion)

Index kepercayaan 12, 15, 16–18, 125 kerauhan 176, 188 keris, kris 49, 65, 70, 169, 178–79, 208–10, 214 kerohanian 15, 131 Ketuhanan (see Tuhan) khilafah 96–97 (see caliphate) kiai 9, 49–50, 53, 64–65, 67–69 Kirtya Liefrinck – van der Tuuk 4, 146, 163 Kitab Suci 124, 140 (see Holy Book) Koran 74–75, 78, 99, 124, 140, 214 (see Qur’an); Koranic 77–78, 99 Kristen Jowo 25–26, 32, 35 Kristen Londo 25–26, 35 kulit 176–78, 191 localization 8, 167; relocalization 118 lontar 123, 136, 144, 155, 165, 185, 189 madrasah 57, 59, 66–67, 78, 81 Maha Gotra Pasek Sanak Sapta Rsi 204 mahasabha 128, 134 Majapahit 52, 69, 83, 103, 119, 123, 135–36, 139, 163, 166, 182–84, 201 Majelis Permusyarawatan Rakyat (MPR) 15–18, 95, 101, 127 Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) 68, 89, 98, 105, 109, 111–12 Maklumat 100–102, 105–6, 109 mantra 78, 103, 141, 144, 166, 183 masolah 178, 181 Masyumi 11, 62 matrimony 37–38 mazhab49, 51, 53, 68 Ministry of Culture and Tourism 18, 206, 210, 214 Ministry of Education and Culture 13, 15, 18 Ministry of Religion 12–16, 73, 84–86, 95–96, 125–27, 131, 134, 136, 138–39, 165, 199, 205, 212 modern 37, 42, 52, 54–4, 61–62, 66, 66, 71–74, 78, 81, 90, 93, 102, 120, 140, 143–44, 148, 151, 154–57, 160, 162–63, 165, 169, 172–73, 176, 180–81, 185, 189–91, 196–97, 211; modernist 20, 53, 63, 82, 86, 161, 184–85, 188; modernity 1, 9, 11, 54, 62, 66, 68, 102, 170–71, 173, 175–76, 194; modernization 66, 118, 170–71, 186, 196, 198 monotheism 20, 43, 137–38, 159, 173, 182, 184, 191; monotheist 169;

235

monotheistic 14–15, 51, 85, 125, 137–38, 144, 157–59, 173 Mpu Kuturan 135 Muhammad 67, 75, 140; Muhammadism 31 Muhammadiyah 18, 50, 91, 95, 97 Muntilan 24, 28–29, 32–35, 37, 39–44, 47 mystic 13, 55–57, 64; mystic synthesis 8–9, 13, 23, 31, 33, 43, 54, 90; mystical 8, 13, 15, 32, 54, 56, 59, 67, 83, 104, 144; mysticism 13, 15, 18, 20, 56–57, 65, 75, 94, 144, 161, 164 nabi 140 nadi 176 Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) 18, 48–51, 53, 55–56, 58, 60–69, 82, 95, 102 nation 18, 20, 23, 42, 62, 93, 95, 99, 101, 104, 106–7, 128, 194–96, 198, 213; national 17, 42, 50, 62, 82, 85, 87, 89, 97–98, 100–102, 105, 107, 109–11, 127, 129, 131–35, 137, 141, 157–58, 182, 184–86, 193–202, 204, 210–11; nationalism 9, 41, 43, 60, 93, 105–6, 138, 196; nationalist 9, 11–12, 19–20, 23, 41–43, 52–54, 59, 62, 71, 82, 85, 93, 95–96, 107–8, 202; nationalization 73, 82 Nederlandsche Zendeling-Genootschap (NZG) 25, 30 Neo-Hindu 138, 160–61, 187; NeoHinduism 130 Netherlands 28, 30, 39, 42, 44, 46–47, 162; Netherlands Indies 24–25, 27–28, 37, 40 New Order 14–17, 50, 54, 71, 73, 84–86, 88, 91, 93–94, 101, 104, 112, 119, 128, 130, 132, 136–37, 139–40, 193–94, 198–200, 202, 211, 214 ngayah 177, 180–81, 189, 206 ngelmu 10, 29, 33 ngurek 169 niskala 139, 170, 175–76, 178–79, 181, 186, 192, 203 Nyai Ratu Kidul 87 Orientalism 138; Orientalist 2, 11, 46, 119–20, 141, 162–63, 166 orthodoxy 1–2, 10, 50, 52, 122, 128, 138, 148, 150, 152, 154, 164, 169, 182, 185 orthopraxy 1–2, 122, 128, 143, 148–50, 180

236

Index

padiksan 141 Panca Çraddha, pañcas´raddha- 127, 140, 154 Pancasila 1, 11–12, 14, 16–17, 20, 23, 42–44, 68, 85, 92–97, 99–112 pandita 26, 33, 133, 141, 166, 184 pantheism 77; pantheistic 75–76 Parisada 126–35, 137–38, 140; Parisada Bali 129, 132–35, 141; Parisada Besakih 134, 141, 184; Parisada Campuan 133–35, 142, 184; Parisada Dharma Hindu Bali (PDHB) 126, 128, 135–39; Parisada Hindu Dharma (PHD) 127–29, 147; Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI) 129, 135–39, 142, 184–85, 187–88; Parisada Pusat 133–34, 142 Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDIP) 89, 95, 102, 107, 111–12, 202, 204 Pasek 163, 204 Pastika, I Made Mangku 201–4, 213 pasupati 190 pawintenan 140–41 pecalang 179, 200, 212 pedanda 123–24, 126–27, 130–35, 140–42, 167, 182–84, 187 Pedoman Penghayatan dan Pengamalan Pancasila 16 pemangku 141, 163, 175, 179, 203 pembinaan 16, 80, 84–85, 91 Pemena 141 penghulu 37–38 Permoefakatan PerhimpoenanPerhimpoenan Politiek Kebangsaan Indonesia (PPPKI) 41 Persis (Persatoean Islam, Islamic Union) 53 pesantren 9, 29, 58, 64, 67, 79, 97 Piagam Campuan (see Campuan Charter) Piagam Jakarta (see Jakarta Charter) Piagam Samuan Tiga (see Samuan Tiga Charter) pinandita 141 politics 9, 16–19, 29, 31, 47, 71, 81–82, 85, 88–89, 93, 100, 107, 132, 184, 194–96, 199, 201, 203–4, 210–11, 214; religious politics 25, 35, 182, 190; spirited politics 194; spiritualized politics 193–95, 210–11 Pollock, Sheldon 7, 20, 154 polygamy 46, 61 Pornography Bill 108–9

Portuguese 10, 25, 27 possession 168–92 (see ritual) pribumisasi 50, 68 priyayi 9, 43, 52, 54 profane 170, 181 Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) 89, 97, 108 Protestant 10–11, 20, 25, 27–32, 36–37, 41, 44, 99; Protestants 24, 28, 30, 141; Protestantism 10, 13–15, 73, 85, 96; Protestant Church 31 pulakerti 208–10 pura 137; pura kawitan 130 Pura Besakih 133, 214 Pura Gunung Lebah 133 Pura Mandara Giri Semeru Agung 201 Pura Peed 191 Pura Samuan Tiga 135 Pura Ulun Danu Batur 203, 205–6, 212, 214 puri 203, 205–6, 213 purification 49, 63, 65, 74, 86, 141, 182 pusaka 70, 145, 147 putihan 9, 90 Qur’an 56, 58, 60 (see Koran) Raditya 130, 136 Ramstedt, Martin 19, 140–41, 151, 164, 166–67, 169, 194 Rangda 174, 178–79, 181–82, 191 rationalization 2, 138, 170–71, 186 Ratu Gede Maduwe Gumi 206, 210 Ratu Gede Mas Mecaling 174, 191 reform 2, 14, 18, 25, 30–31, 47, 59, 73–74, 81, 103, 112, 118–19, 122–23, 125, 127, 132, 139–40, 143, 145, 147–49, 151–52, 155–57, 160; Reformation 1; reformer 2, 118, 123–24, 126–27, 138, 140–41, 143, 152, 155, 160–62, 165, 184, 188–89; reformism, Reformism 59, 68, 74, 138; reformist, Reformist 9, 13, 49–51, 53–54, 60, 63–64, 73–74, 95, 126, 131, 135–37, 143–44, 147, 184–90 Reformasi 17, 92–93, 103–4, 119, 131–32 religio 1, 19 religionization 2, 72–74, 83–85, 88–90 Ricklefs, Merle 8–9, 23, 26, 31, 49–50, 52, 54, 57, 65, 67–69, 90–91 rite 1–2, 6, 8, 36, 45, 55, 75, 77, 87, 122–31, 138, 140, 147–49; ritual 1–2, 8, 19, 33, 36, 45, 49, 54–55, 57–60,

Index 64–65, 67–69, 71, 73–77, 79–80, 83, 86–88, 91, 103, 120, 122, 127, 131, 136, 141, 143–45, 147–56, 158, 162–92, 193–95, 197, 199, 201, 203, 205–11, 213–14 Rsi Markandeya 133 ruwetan 65, 70 sacrament 38, 164 sacred 4, 32, 38, 53, 65, 69–70, 80, 83, 110, 123, 145–47, 150–51, 154, 163–65, 167, 169–70, 173, 180–81, 196–97, 207–8 sadaka 184 Sadrach, Kiyahi 26, 29–32, 34, 36, 44 Sai Baba 131, 187 sakti, shakti 3, 19, 110, 139, 146, 163, 175, 181, 190, 209 (see kasekten, kasaktian, kesaktian) salafi 63, 98, 103 sampradaya 130–34, 138 Samuan Tiga Charter 135–37 Sanghyang, sang hyang 3, 168, 171, 182; sanghyang dedari 192; sanghyang jaran 192; Sang Hyang Widhi 125, 137, 140, 167 Sanskrit 3–5, 7–8, 19, 121–22, 139–40, 144, 151, 154–57, 163–66; Sanskritization166–67, 182; Sanskrit cosmopolis 7, 154 Santi Adnjana 165 santri 9, 13–14, 49, 52, 69, 71, 75–76, 78–80, 82–84, 88–90 Sarekat Islam 58, 81, 120 Satiti Gama Siwa Boda 165 Satria, ksatria 139, 163, 213 Schulte Nordholt, Henk 19, 120, 184, 194–95, 197–99, 211, 213 scriptural 1, 7–8, 78–79, 144–45, 147, 150–52, 154–56, 158, 160, 164, 185; scripturalism 68, 182; scripturalist 13, 77–79, 92, 102; scripturalization 2, 127, 143–44, 147, 150 secular 1, 6, 11, 16, 18, 27, 52, 66, 85, 88, 92–98, 102–3, 105–12, 170, 173, 186, 189, 195–97, 210; secularism 97–98, 105–6, 110, 194–96, 210; secularist 52, 62, 92, 106, 108–9; secularization 2, 11, 38, 90, 106–7, 194, 196; secular nationalists 53–54, 62, 71, 82 sekala 170, 175, 186, 192, 203 Sekretariat Kerjasama Kepercayaan (SKK) 15 Sendangsono 33–35, 43

237

Setia, Putu 129–30, 136, 141 S´aiva 143–44, 149, 151, 153–55, 157–60, 163–64, 166–67; s´aivama-rga 151; S´aivism 154, 156–57, 160, 166; Shaiva 19; Shaivagama 4, 19; ShaivaSiddhanta 4, 19, 149; Shaivism 140, 182, 191; Shaivite 136; Shiva 3–4, 19; Shivaist 3; Siva 158–59; S´iva 144, 151, 157, 159, 163; S´iva-Buddha 166; Siwa 135–37, 140, 149, 163, 165–66, 182–83 shamanism 176–77 sharia 6, 18, 23, 53, 61–62, 73–74, 85, 92, 94–99, 102, 104–5, 107–8, 110–11 shirk 49, 59, 64, 76 slametan 33, 44–46, 79 Soegijapranata, Albertus 42 Soekarnoputri, Megawati 106–7, 202, 209, 214 Soetomo 52–53 spirit 6, 15, 28, 30, 33, 50, 54–55, 63, 69, 72, 75–77, 79–80, 83, 86–88, 100, 132, 168–69, 173, 175–77, 179, 182–83, 187, 190–92, 195; spiritual 8–9, 14, 18, 23, 25–27, 29, 31–36, 43–46, 54, 72–73, 75, 79, 83, 90, 100, 106, 110, 127, 140, 164, 170, 174–79, 183, 185, 192, 196, 203, 207–8, 210; spirituality 18, 29, 32, 34, 36–37, 131, 182–83, 187, 196 state 11–18, 20, 23, 42, 47, 52, 62, 73–74, 80, 83–85, 89–90, 92–101, 103–11, 120–21, 129, 139, 166, 191, 193–98, 200, 202, 210–13 Steenbrink, Karel 24, 27, 32, 34, 44, 46 Sufi 8–9, 13, 66, 75–77, 104; Sufism 8, 13, 18, 75, 104 Sugriwa, I Gusti Bagus 125, 128, 142 Suharto 14–17, 65, 68, 72, 84, 86, 88, 91, 92–95, 101, 103–4, 106–7, 111–12, 119, 128, 131, 187, 193, 207, 210, 212–14 Sukarno 11–12, 14–15, 23, 42–43, 52, 62, 84–85, 93–94, 101, 106–7, 109, 112–13, 126, 128 Sunna 74–75; Sunni 71–72, 74–75, 88, 90; Sunnism 72, 89 Surya Kanta 120–22, 130, 135, 141, 155, 163, 165, 184 takhyul, tachjoel 123, 140, 152 taksu 177, 191–92 (see balian taksu) Tantric 3, 83, 138, 140, 154, 166, 191; Tantrism 142, 161 tarekat 9 (see Sufi, Sufism) Tattwa 152–56, 163–65, 167 tenget 191

238

Index

Tengger 55, 137, 140 tirta 140, 207–8; tirta yatra 131 tourism 11, 132, 170–71, 175, 193, 198; tourist 19, 170–71, 193; touristic 179 tradition 1–8, 11, 13, 19–20, 26, 28–29, 35–36, 44–46, 48–52, 54, 60, 63–64, 67–68, 71–75, 77–80, 82–84, 87–88, 90, 97, 100, 103, 107, 118–19, 121–26, 135, 138, 142, 143–47, 150–51, 154–55, 157, 160–61, 163–67, 172, 180, 182–85, 187, 189, 192, 193–94; traditional 3, 6, 33, 49, 64–65, 69–70, 93, 103, 107–8, 118, 122–23, 130, 137–40, 143–52, 154–56, 161–63, 165, 169–71, 174–75, 183–85, 190, 194–97, 199, 201–3, 207; traditionalist, Traditionalist 48–50, 54, 59–60, 63–65, 67–69, 77, 82, 130, 184 trance 65, 168–71, 174–76, 181, 191 tri-pramana 19 triwangsa 120, 122–23, 125–26, 130, 139, 141–42 Tuhan 20, 101, 140, 191; Tuhan Yang Maha Esa 15–16, 125; Ketuhanan 11–12, 20, 85; Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa 12, 85, 95, 101, 105, 111 Tunggul Wulung 26, 33 Tutur 143–47, 150–56, 158, 161–67, 185, 192 ulama 48–51, 53–54, 56–61, 63–68, 79, 81, 89, 96, 98, 102, 127, 140 umat, ummat, umma 70, 79, 90, 96, 126, 140, 203, 213 Undang Undang Pornografi (see Pornography Bill) van Bruinessen, Martin 6, 8, 20, 81, 91

van Klinken, Gerry 28, 35, 40–41, 45–47, 199 van Lith, Franciscus 24–26, 28–47 varna 4 (see warna); varnashramadharma 4 Veda 126, 131, 136, 141, 163, 165, 185, 187 (see weda); Vedic 131, 166 vernacularization 8, 20 Vickers, Adrian 20, 120, 170, 193 Wahid, Abdurrahman 17, 20, 65, 68, 70, 95, 102, 106–7 wali sanga 24, 46, 48, 63 wangsa 139, 141, 182–84, 190 warga 130–34, 141–42, 204 warna 103, 141 (see varna) Warren, Carol 121, 198–99, 201 wayang 46, 48, 79; wayang kulit 191 Weber, Max 170–71, 195 weda, Weda 136, 141, 163, 166 wedding 77, 80 Wesia 139, 163 Western 1–2, 11, 26–27, 33, 37, 52, 65–66, 74, 81, 91, 123, 127, 151, 159, 162, 166, 168–73, 175, 191, 194, 196–97, 210–11 Wetu Telu 71, 76, 84, 90 Wiener, Margaret J. 127, 161, 195, 209 witchcraft 170–71, 178 world religion 2–3, 118, 127, 142, 148, 150, 160, 162, 185, 187, 194 Xavier, Francis 27 Xavier College 24, 39–40, 42–43 Yudhoyono, Susilo Bambang 101–2, 109, 112, 207